The Seattle Sounders take on Real Salt Lake on #DecisionDay. The Sounders need a victory in order to guarantee an MLS Playoff spot.
Having already been beaten 2-0 in Utah by the very same Real Salt Lake side, the Sounders will know that there is no foregone conclusion that three points will be in the bank come 6PM on Sunday.
However, fortunately for the Sounders, Real Salt Lake are currently struggling with their roster, potentially missing several first team starters for the game on Sunday. Let’s take a look:
Kyle Beckerman – Suspension
The USMNT regular is a big part of their starting eleven. He manages the defensive side of things in midfield and offers great protection to the defense.
Beckerman picked up a yellow card in the 1-0 Real Salt Lake loss at the hands of FC Dallas. As a result he is suspended for the game against the Sounders this weekend. It’s a huge loss for Real Salt Lake and it’s hard to imagine they can adequately replace him.
Joao Plata – Injury
Plata picked up a left adductor strain and wasn’t even fit enough to make the Real Salt Lake match day squad for Tuesday’s SCCL game.
He has since trained, but should still be considered a doubt for the game. Four to five days is not a lot of time to recover from a strain that prevented a player from making the squad, unless he was simply being rested.
Javier Morales – Fatigue
The 35 year old veteran has played 180 minutes over the course of three days, including 90 minutes on Tuesday in the CONCACAF Champions League.
That’s a lot of game time for somebody of his age, and although he may play some part on Sunday his minutes are likely to be limited. Three full 90 minutes in a week seems too much for a 35 year old.
It remains to be seen how Real Salt Lake decide to approach the game. They have nothing to play for but therefore equally nothing to lose. A side that has no pressure and can go out and enjoy the game is always dangerous.
The Sounders will need to be fully focussed to achieve the win, hopefully they are.