The Sounders have a major hole to climb out of if they are going to make their 3rd straight Western Conference Finals. In the first leg of their 2-leg series facing the 3rd seed of Real Salt Lake , Seattle had their worst match of the season, as they were spanked 3-0 in Salt Lake City.
The Sounders were dominated on both sides of the pitch and they will have to win Wednesday’s home match 4-0 in order to advance.
Seattle had the 2nd best regular season record in the MLS and headed into the playoffs winning 5 of their last 6 matches while Real Salt Lake was winless in their previous 6 matches before Saturday’s match.
All that momentum went out the window from the opening whistle, as the Sounders failed to generate any offense and made a boatload of big mistakes that led to Real Salt Lake goals.
Obviously, the Sounders need to turn things around and they only have one match do it.
While I would say the chances are slim there still is a glimmer of hope for Seattle. First of all the Sounders are at home and you can be sure the best fans in the MLS will try to give their home team all the support they can get.
Second, a couple of the key defenders for Real are probably out for Wednesday’s match. Real’s Jamison Olave (thigh injury) and Nat Borchers (Knee strain) will head to Seattle, but they are both big question marks.
Seattle’s Kasey Keller made some good saves in Wednesday’s first leg and if he does not keep a clean sheet in this match the Sounders will be watching the rest of their playoffs from the comfort of their own homes.
Seattle will get Mauro Rosales back from injury, but that may not be enough. Real will hang back on D and I see them dropping back most of their midfielders to protect the big 3-goal advantage.
The Sounders must be much more physical and press the envelope on offense and while Real will drop their midfielders back Seattle’s midfielders will be in attack mode from the get go.
Seattle has scored at least 4 goals in 3 regular season matches this season, but in all of those matches they did not keep a clean sheet.
I wish I could predict that the Sounders will have a miracle comeback at home in Keller’s last season in goal, but I do not see it happening.
A 3-0 goal differential is simply too much to come back from facing a Real Salt Lake team that is brimming with confidence and looks to be back in form.
|Nov 2-10 PM ET||Game 1|