After three consecutive losses for the Seattle Sounders, they need to beat a RSL side which has picked up just four points from a possible 18 on their travels this season.
Admittedly, the headline accompanying this particular Seattle Sounders‘ article is not particularly imaginative. However, that doesn’t make it any less relevant or true.
Saying the Sounders are only three points out of a playoff position is no longer acceptable. No more can you argue it’s still early in the season, with us now effectively one-third of the way through the campaign.
Through 11 games, the Rave Green only have two wins and have already lost five times. They have picked up just one point in four games, which includes a current streak of three consecutive defeats.
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And yet, all hope is not lost, with 13 of the Sounders’ remaining 23 games to be played at CenturyLink Field. In that respect, Saturday’s home clash versus Real Salt Lake City comes at a good time for them.
That’s because RSL are similarly struggling so far this season, sitting just one point above the Sounders and having played a game more. Throw in the fact they have picked up four points from a possible 18 on the road, and it’s perfectly set up for Brian Schmetzer’s team to get back on track.
Brad Evans is well aware that nothing less than three points will do this weekend. Speaking to Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times and other members of the media on Friday, Evans said:
"“Without really talking about it, this is a must win game for us. We’ve got to right the ship. It puts pressure on us, but it’s welcomed pressure. We’ve been in this situation before. We should feel that pressure in front of our fans, in our home stadium. That should be the pressure that we feed off of and pushes us to that next level to get out of there with a good result.”"
At least the Sounders will receive a boost heading in the clash with RSL, with the return of top scorer Clint Dempsey and Joevin Jones. Both players missed the demoralizing midweek defeat to Sporting KC, through rest and suspension respectively.
Roman Torres is still out, but the Sounders will also be hoping to have Osavaldo Alonso back in the starting lineup. Alonso missed the 3-0 loss in Missouri, due to quad tightness.
In a game full of key matchups, the one between Nicolas Lodeiro and Kyle Beckerman will be particularly interesting to watch. Loderio has yet to recapture his form from last season and will face a tough challenge against the physical Beckerman.
Earlier this week, we wrote about how last year’s 3-0 loss away to Sporting KC acted as the genesis for the Sounders’ unlikely run to MLS Cup glory. We now wait to find out if the eerily similar midweek result has a similar impact on this season’s quest for more glory.
What are you expecting from Saturday’s clash between the Sounders and RSL? What do you predict the final outcome will be, and why? Share your thoughts in the comments section.