REAL SALT LAKE MATCH PREVIEW & NOTES: RSL V. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29
Claret-and-Cobalt Start Fourth Consecutive MLS Cup Playoffs Run with Saturday’s Western Conference Semifinal Series Leg One;
Links to RSL and MLS Cup Playoff Media Guides Now Available
SANDY, Utah (Thursday, October 27, 2011) – The fourth-consecutive appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs for Real Salt Lake (15-11-8, 53 pts.; West #3 seed) begins this Saturday, October 29, when the Utah side welcomes Seattle Sounders FC (18-7-9, 63 pts.; West #2 seed) to Rio Tinto Stadium for the first leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series. Kickoff in Sandy for the highly-anticipated opener is set for 8:00 p.m. MT, and fans that can’t make it to “The Fortress” can follow the action live on FOX Soccer and RSL’s radio partners – Rock 99.1-FM (English) and Juan 1600-AM (Spanish).
Saturday’s RSL-Seattle showdown will be the first in a two-leg series, with the second leg to be contested next Wednesday, Nov. 2 at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field (8:00 p.m. MT; live on ESPN2/ESPN Deportes). The team with the highest aggregate goal total over the 180 minutes will then face the winner of the New York Red Bulls – L.A. Galaxy Semifinal Series in the Western Conference Finals (date/time TBA).
How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Seattle Sounders FC
- TV: FOX Soccer
- Radio: Rock 99.1-FM (America First Credit Union Pre-game Show starts at 7:00 p.m.) (English) and Juan 1600-AM (Spanish)
- Online: Live updates via Official RSL Twitter Feed (@RealSaltLake) and MLS MatchCenter on RealSaltLake.com
Match Notes and Playoff Media Guides Now Available Online
Following are links to the RSL Postseason Media Guide, MLS Western Conference Semifinal Series Guide (including Seattle game notes) and the full 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs Postseason Media Guide in advance of Saturday’s series opener at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. If you have any problems viewing the documents, would like the documents sent as attachments or are seeking more information on the match, please contact John Koluder in the RSL Communications Department via email at jkoluder@RealSaltLake.com.
RSL “Game Note” of the Match, Part I – First-choice XI (Almost) Together Again:
Real Salt Lake knows it will once again have the services of MF Kyle Beckerman, but RSL is anxiously awaiting the status of MF Ned Grabavoy, who has played just 330 minutes in six appearances (three starts) in the team’s 15 games since suffering a nagging hamstring injury in the 0-2 July 30 home loss to Columbus … MF Will Johnson has missed five of the last 12 games due to Canadian National Team duty and an ankle injury suffered on Oct. 7 just 17 minutes into an eventual 7-0 Maple Leaf win over St. Lucia, however he did return to log the full 90 minutes in last weekend’s regular season finale against Portland … DF Tony Beltran’s last MLS regular-season appearance came with his 35 minutes at Seattle on Sept. 10 prior to the pair of yellows, as the fourth-year outside back suffered an adductor strain in a Sept. 18 reserve match v. KC …
RSL “Game Note” of the Match, Part II – “Kyle & Javi Show” Returns to Air Oct. 29:
The longest and most devastating absence RSL saw this year involved MF Javier Morales, the team’s 2010 MVP and a 2010 MLS Best XI selection … Morales – out from May 7 to Sept. 28 due to the ankle fracture / dislocation suffered following a bad Marco Mondaini tackle against Chivas USA – made his third consecutive start and fourth consecutive appearance last Saturday v. Portland, playing 260 of RSL’s last 270 minutes, seeking to remove the rust from his form and get on the same page as his teammates entering the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs … When Morales and Beckerman – together for 95 games since arriving on the Wasatch Front in mid-2007 – see the pitch together, it will mark the first time in RSL’s last 30 games / 2745 minutes since Mondaini’s late first-half tackle shattered Morales’ ankle …
RSL History vs. Seattle Sounders FC
Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC completed a rarity in Major League Soccer these days by trading away victories this season, each claiming 2-1 triumphs on the opposition’s home field. On May 28, the Washington side spoiled RSL’s MLS record 29-game home undefeated streak by going up 2-0 and holding on for the win to become just the second MLS side to win a regular season game at the Rio Tinto “fortress” since its opening in October 2008. However, Real Salt Lake returned the favor in the return match at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 10, using an opening own goal from Kasey Keller and a second-half strike by FW Álvaro Saborío to post a thrilling away result ending Seattle’s nine-match unbeaten streak in all competitions. The stalemate in this year’s series brought RSL’s all-time record against Sounders FC to 2-2-2, a ledger split evenly at 1-1-1 between road and home affairs.