Sandy, UT (Sports Network) - The two hottest teams in Major League Soccer will
square off at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday when Real Salt Lake hosts Seattle
RSL sits in second place in the Western Conference and just one point back of
leaders FC Dallas after putting together a 7-1-1 stretch in all competitions
since the start of May.
Seattle got off to a poor start with only two points from its first five games
this season, but the club's current form has helped the Sounders climb to
fifth in the Western table after a run of six wins in eight fixtures.
These two teams met in the fourth week of the season while Seattle was mired
in its slump, and the Sounders left Rio Tinto with a 2-1 defeat.
But Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid is convinced that his team's mentality is
very different from the first meeting this season.
"We're more confident now than when we played them the last time," Schmid
said. "We've got some guys who feel good about putting the ball in the back of
the net and that's a situation we weren't having."
In fact, the Sounders have tallied 16 goals in their last seven MLS matches,
and despite trailing Salt Lake by six points ahead of Saturday's game, the
Sounders still have three games in hand on their opponents.
Salt Lake is also in the midst of a bit of a scoring binge having outscored
its last four opponents by a combined total of 11-3.
Midfielder Javier Morales has played a big role in the recent surge with a
goal and four assists in that span, and RSL is 6-2-2 since he returned to the
lineup on April 13.
RSL is coming off its first bye week of the season after a busy stretch of
games in the month of May. And while the rest is good, Salt Lake's Chris
Wingert is also wary of his team becoming complacent.
"We've had a ton of games in a short amount of time and we got a few days off
which was really nice," Wingert said. "But at the same time we've got to make
sure that we're not getting complacent coming off a bye week. We know it's
going to be an extremely tough challenge. Seattle has been playing well."
The Sports Network