Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders FC

SANDY, Utah (Friday, August 21, 2015) – Real Salt Lake returns home Saturday night against rival  Seattle Sounders FC seeking to close the current six-point gap between the clubs in pursuit of the final Western Conference playoff berth, hosting the Cascadia club at Rio Tinto Stadium for the first time in a year with an 8:00 p.m. MT kickoff.  Pregame airs live on ESPN700 AM at 7:00 p.m. MT, with regional TV coverage via KMYU and American Sports Network kicking off at 7:30 p.m. MT in Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Arizona, with David James and Brian Dunseth on the call.

Last Saturday’s stunning stoppage-time loss to Portland at home concluded a five-game, 15-day stretch to open up August for RSL, which has nine games remaining in the MLS regular season to go along with three Group G games in the 2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League. Last week’s 0-1 loss to the Timbers was the club’s third consecutive in league play, RSL last winning at home back on July 24 against Sporting KC. Kansas City exacted its revenge 10 days ago, eliminating RSL in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinals.

At Rio Tinto Stadium this season, RSL is now 8-2-6 across all competitions, including a trio of home wins in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Since the beginning of 2008, RSL boasts a 94-20-39 mark in its last 153 home games (all comps) in that span, during which it has outscored opponents by 163 goals (275/112), with a 75-15-36 regular-season mark (225/92), 6-1-1 CCL record (17/5), 5-2-2 in playoffs (11/4) and an 8-2-0 ledger in the Open Cup (21/10).

How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Seattle Sounders FC

•   Coverage Begins: 7:30 p.m. MT

•   TV: KMYU – David James & Brian Dunseth

•   English Radio: ESPN700 AM (7:00 p.m. MT) – Bill Riley & Brian Kamler

•   Spanish Radio: 102.3 La Gran D FM / 1600 AM – Nelson Moran & Fernando Hortal

•   Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter feed provides updates

Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL v. Seattle Matchup Now Available Online

Following is the link to the Adobe PDF version of the MLS Game Guide in advance of Saturday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and Seattle.

Click here to download the PDF version of the MLS Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL v. Seattle matchup

RSL meets Seattle for the first time this season Saturday, the clubs’ boasting a storied history that has seen them split series in the 2011 and 2012 Western Conference Semifinals, while 2009 saw Seattle eliminated RSL in one of that year’s Open Cup MLS qualifiers, but RSL winning MLS Cup 2009 on the Sounders’ home pitch at what was then known as Qwest Field. RSL has posted an all-time 7-8-5 mark across all competitions against the Sounders, including a 5-2-2 mark at Rio Tinto Stadium, outscoring the Seattle side 13/7. In the clubs’ last Utah-based meeting, played on August 16 last year, RSL won 2-1 on goals from Luke Mulholland and Joao Plata to briefly overtake Seattle and LA for the 2014 Supporters Shield lead. After overcoming a 10-point deficit in five weeks to that point, RSL won just two of the next seven games before stabilizing matters down the stretch to capture the West #3 seed a year ago.

RSL will be nearly at full strength for the first time in 30 games across all competitions this year Saturday, as Head Coach Jeff Cassar will only have DF Chris Schuler (R ankle bone spurs) unavailable for selection to the starting XI and 18-man bench. DF Jamison Olave returned to action last week after missing nearly 15 full games since early June, while FW Joao Plata (out since Aug. 4, when he scored the game-winner at Municipal in Guatemala City) and M/F Jordan Allen (out since starting the July 18, 2-0 home win over Houston) have trained fully this week, the club’s first full week of training since the final week of July.