2012 MLS Playoff preview: Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake (leg 1)

It’s first kick all over again

All eyes will be focused on the XBOX Pitch Friday night as the Sounders take on hated rivals Real Salt Lake in the 1st leg of their 2012 MLS semifinal playoff series.

Matchup: Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle
CenturyLink Field
Time: 7:00 (local)
Date: November 2nd, 2012

As we look back on the season series between these two teams, goals have come at a premium, to say the least.

In fact, in the three meetings between the two teams this season, only one goal was score, by RSL way back on the 12th of May.

The season series went down to the wire in the matches, as well as in the table, as RSL barely eked out the 2nd spot on the last day of the season.

What to watch/Seattle

First thing that I’m going to be watching for is to see how the Sounders come out in the first 30 minutes of play.

Since this is a home and home series, this first game will be crucial for the success of the Sounders in the second leg.

We all know how this team suffers come playoff time, so if we can get a goal up heading into next week, it will be huge.

Second thing I’m going to be watching for is how the Sounders can cope without their goal scoring leader Eddie Johnson.

Of course there are plenty of other scoring options, and hopefully with the addition of Christian Tiffert, Mauro Rosales can come up into the play more often Friday night.

2012 MLS Playoffs: Real Salt Lake vs. Sounders FC

Freddy Montero will be under extreme pressure in this match, as the face of the franchise over the past four years, he knows more than anyone else the importance of this 1st leg match.

Brad Evans has had a ton of shots his past few games, just missing the mark on most of them, his offensive skills are going to need to be used more than usual this Friday.

What to watch/RSL

RSL is kind of limping into the playoffs this year, as their second place spot was only awarded to them thanks to the LA Galaxy victory over the Sounders last week.

RSL has the advantage over the Sounders at the Clink, with an all time 2-2-2 record, as well as having the pleasure of eliminating the Sounders in the past.

They also hold the season head to head record with the one win and two draws, but this year Seattle will be gunning for them.

The numbers lie in favor of RSL as well, since history has proven that the team that host’s the second leg have the upper hand in advancing.

Could this be bad news once again for the Sounders?

RSL will have the task of trying to scramble for a starting eleven depending on which of the available forwards the Sigi Schmid has on the bench.

The speed of Steve Zakuani will be the worst matchup for RSL, which is who I am hoping will start in the place of the injured Eddie Johnson.

Whatever the case may be, Sounders fans will be out in droves to support the home side hoping to once and forall put this playoff curse behind us.

Scarves up. Way up.


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About Clinton Bell

NWSB Editor. Born and raised in Friday Harbor. Even though he makes his home in Mesa still bleeds Seattle Blue and Green. Mariners Seahawks Sounders till the day he dies! Bring back his Sonics! Connect with Clinton today!
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