It seems like such a long time ago. The last time these two teams met in Seattle, the Sounders were celebrating an opening game win over the Red Bull and Real Salt Lake was opening their season on the road. Now they play again Saturday night in Utah.
Now Seattle sits in second place in the west with 29 points while RSL is in sixth with 23. With just six points between them, this has the makings of a huge match for both teams. Seattle needs to keep pace with Houston, who is six points ahead of Seattle in the standings.
Seattle has been reeling a bit from the last three matches, two friendly matches against Chelsea and Barcelona and a league away match against bottom crawlers San Jose. Seattle was outscored 10-0 in those three matches. In fairness, Seattle looked the better team for large portions of the match against Chelsea but apart from a few moments against Barcelona, the Sounders were like watching a college football team play against an NFL team. Top level teams do not have their back line ball watching and allowing the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, to score two beautifully simple goals in rapid succession. Seriously, it was almost embarrassing.
Against San Jose, Seattle looked average, at best. Seattle started out reasonably well in the early minutes, headed sharply downhill after another own goal and then another, yes another, red card against a Sounder defender before hitting rock bottom in the second half. The last goal in the 4-0 drumming was a complete waste of time. The defense for Seattle, mentally at least, were back on the bus on their way to the airport. In fact, after winning four of their first six league matches, Sounders FC have just three wins in their last 13. However, Seattle has lost just twice in that span.