Updated Oct 30, 2011 - 2:03 pm
Match review: Seattle Sounders FC 0 - Real Salt Lake 3
Man of the match: Kasey Keller
Kasey Keller faced a barrage of shots and "held" RSL to a mere three goals. He saw 19 shots during the match, and needed to make a number of outstanding saves to prevent what could have been Seattle's worst defensive performance of the year.
Keller's performance was the only highlight in a dismal evening for head coach Sigi Schmid. Seattle will need more than their stopper to advance to the next round.
"Keller was the one guy who stood up and performed. He made a number of key saves. We never forced Rimando to make a save all night."--Sigi Schmid, Sounders FC head coach
What didn't work
The midfield proved to be the weak link in this matchup. Mauro Rosales' absence showcased how valuable he is to the Sounders. Without the Argentenian in the lineup, the Sounders never found their rhythm. RSL held the edge in possession as Seattle failed to net one shot on goal.
"One of our focuses was to keep a zero back there. We knew they had some lethal weapons up top and in the midfield and (we had) to stay compact."--Nick Rimando, RSL goalkeeper
A leaky defense allowed far too many chances. Even Keller's superhuman effort could not stop the Salt Lake offensive barrage that never let up from the opening to the closing whistle.
"It's simple. We got dominated, from minute one to minute 95. There's nothing much to be said."--James Riley, Sounders FC defender
With minimal support from the midfield, Fredy Montero and Sammy Ochoa (a surprise starter) failed to get any clear chances on goal. Credit RSL's physical and tenaceous play on defense.
"All the time we were defending. We didn't find a way to push forward and try to score goals and keep the ball."--Fredy Montero, Sounders FC forward
"I was happy to get the start, but we didn't get the win here, and the way we lost, it wasn't a good start for me."--Sammy Ochoa, Sounders FC forward
What to expect in the second leg on Wednesday
It's do a or die time for the Sounders. I expect to see Rosales back in the starting lineup and for Seattle to come out in full force offensively.
This is a resilient group of players, and they were embarrassed by last night's outcome. For the third year in a row, Seattle is having a difficult time scoring in the playoffs. Look for Schmid's squad to gain a level of respectability.
Another factor in Seattle's favor were the injuries to RSL starting defenders Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave. With two out of four defenders potentailly out for Wednesday's matchup, the home side has a fighting chance.
The team will put forth a respectable effort and will make this one closer than most people think. My prediction is that it goes to penalty kicks. Real Salt Lake still manages to advance to the next round.
They said it
"We're lucky we didn't lose six-nothing. We were well served by only losing three-nothing. We played not well and I thought Real Salt Lake played very well. A bad time for us to choose to have a bad game."--Sigi Schmid
"For me that was a complete match, and we haven't had a complete match of good soccer and good focus and the requisite commitment for a very long time."--Jason Kreis, RSL head coach
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