Sounders draw at Real Salt Lake climb to top of Western Conference

The Sounders are  different team on the road  and especially when they  play  at Real Salt  Lake. Last time Sounders won a regular  season game in  Sandy Utah was in 2011.

In all fairness Saturday night 0-0 was a fair result. Both teams had opportunities to grab all three points .  When the game was done and dusted the two Western Conference foes spilt the spoils and each earned a point for their trouble.  The  visiting Sounders had the lion’s share of chances  but none were converted.


The Sounders found space on the left flank with  Leo Chu having his way streaking down the touchline. Jordan Morris was just as effective on the right flank. Morris found space and time with the ball. The issue with the Sounder’s attack was a lack of creativity inside the Real Salt goal box.  On too many occasions there was just one option for Chu or Morris. There were not enough players running into the box to force the Real Salt Defenders to move.


 A  halftime tactical change by head coach Brian Schmetzer gave the Sounders some instant energy to start the half.  Schmetzer moved Jordan Morris to a more central position.  Alex Roldan pushed up the flank and  Albert  Rusnak also pushed up to a more advanced attacking position. The move nearly paid off two minutes into the second half. A Roldan cross barely missed the head of  Morris who was sprinting towards the wide-open goal.  Three minutes after the Morris miss Rusnak had back-to-back chances that went begging. A right-footed shot that sailed over the goal and a free kick that ended in a similar fashion.


The Sounders continued to press the issue but credited Real Salt Lake for fighting back on defense and in transition. The home side best chance in the 84th minute when  Bertin Jacquesson found himself open inside the Sounders’ eighteen. Jacquesson turned and right-footed a shot that sailed over the goal.


The game was choppy with hard fouls that bordered on recklessness. Kelyn Rowe suffered a noncontact injury in the 91st and required aid off the field.  While receiving help off the field the RSL fans booed him for time wasting. Rowe is scheduled to undergo medical testing once he returns to Seattle.

 The recklessness turned to ugliness in the 93rd minute when RSL  midfielder  Pablo Ruiz was issued his second yellow card for a late foul on Nicolas Lodeiro. The Sounders were unable to capitalize on the one-man advantage and the game ended ina nil-nil draw.


Credit Schmetzer and his team for not being happy with the tie. The Sounders had opportunities to win a game in place not too many teams have. The Sounders are looking like that baseball team with exceptional pitching and an above-average offense. The Sounder’s defense will always keep them in every game and it is just a matter of the offense generating goals. There were several plays in the final third that ended up in confusion. The reality is the Sounders have been hit by injuries and now that those players are returning the timing is off. Things can’t be all that bad if you manage a tie against one of your fiercest rivals and find yourself atop the Conference standing.

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