Preseason News

Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. Seongnam FC

Burrito in Tucson

Real Salt Lake takes on South Korea’s Seongnam FC on Sunday as the buildup to the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal Round meeting with Tigres in Monterrey, Mexico, on February 24 continues.  This will be RSL’s second match of the second leg of preseason in Tucson, Arizona, and will feature the seven-time winners of the Korean First Division.

After back-to-back 1-0 defeats to Tijuana in Mexico and the Portland Timbers in Tucson, RSL is looking to get back on the winning mindset in preseason.

RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar indicated that he will split up the group a bit and play two teams for 45 minutes each on Sunday as he looks to construct the best starting 11 for the two-leg, aggregate goal series against Tigres.  The goal is to find a cohesive group that can fit the defending principles instituted thus far through camp.

“We need more intensity in the right areas of the field and a little bit more quality,” Cassar said.  “I don’t want to stress that everything have to be super sharp right now, but we do need to be better with the ball, especially on the simple things.”

The competition for spots is alive and well as Cassar finds the right blend.  That has elevated the level of play in training.  Converting that into matches will be important in the final stages of preseason and facing off against Seongnam is a good challenge to help that progression.

Seongnam finished fifth in the K-League last year, but has qualified for Asia’s Champions League 10 times, winning the tournament twice in 1995 and 2010.  The 2010 victory put them through to the FIFA Club World Cup, where they reached the semifinals before bowing out to eventual champions Inter Milan.

“They’re a very technical team.  They move around a lot,” Cassar said.  “I think they’re going to cause problems so it’s going to be a great test for us.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. MT, with live coverage via Twitter (@RealSaltLake).