Thursday Preview: RSL and Seattle

Thursday Preview: RSL and Seattle

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 9, 2010
  • Alvaro Fernandez, Alvaro Saborio, Fredy Montero, Thursday Preview

Steve Zakuani and Seattle host RSL tonight. (Getty Images)

A lot could change tonight in Seattle after tonight’s clash between the Seattle Sounders FC and the defending MLS Cup champions Real Salt Lake. For one its a chance for RSL to leap over Columbus and LA for the top spot in the league’s overall standings and take possession of the Supporter’s Shield race. But for the hosts, the Sounders could use another win to put further distance between them and the three clubs from the east (Toronto, KC, and Chicago) that are knocking on the playoff door.

Seattle stumbled last week in New England after a terrible 10-minute stretch that saw them go from potentially winning a game to losing 3-1. Blame it on their busy schedule or jetlag but the Sounders lost their edge for a few after going 5-0-2 in their previous seven matches.

RSL on the other hand gained a big win at home once again over the New York Red Bulls. It was a statement win in some folks eyes even if it wasn’t all that pretty at times. Jason Kreis’ bunch continue to impress here as they find ways to get results. RSL is 11-1-6 since April, not a bad record to have at all.

The champs are a still a bit vulnerable on the road this season. Their 3-4-4 mark away from Rio Tinto isn’t anything stellar. I’d imagine RSL will lean heavily on Alvaro Sabario for offense tonight in this one. He scored a goal the last time these two met earlier this year in a 2-2 draw.

The Sounders will obviously continue to lean on the hot foot of Fredy Montero. Seattle showed earlier this year that spreading RSL out on the wings with the play of Steve Zakuani will do wonders for their attack. Doing that tonight will be a key in winning this game for the Sounders.

I’d expect RSL to go physical against Montero in this one too. That may be a key to getting a result in this one. I like RSL even away from home but my heart leans a bit towards Seattle. So for the second straight day I end up with a draw. Seattle will push for three points that they really need right now but RSL will find a way to get something behind Kasey Keller.

Player to watch out for: Alvaro Fernandez – The only DP on the field tonight (Blaise Nkufo is out) will need to put his stamp on this one. Going through him on the wings along with Zakuani will create more chances for Montero and Nate Jaqua up top.

WVH Prediction: Seattle 1, RSL1