clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Know your enemy: Real Salt Lake answers a few questions for Sounder at Heart

The Seattle Sounders will play the second leg of their MLS Cup Western Conference Semifinal series with Real Salt Lake Thursday night, but heading into the match both teams have a few questions.

In an effort to help answer those questions, SB Nation's RSL Soapbox and Sounder at Heart conducted a Q & A. Both teams have injury concerns approaching Thursday's match, starting with Real Salt Lake. Fabian Espindola and Jamison Olave were both limited in the first match, but it sounds like they will be ready to play Thursday:

There are, as far as I know, no new injuries for Jason Kreis to be concerned about at this point. Fabian Espindola and Jamison Olave are both recovering and should be ready, while all else seem to be at or very near full fitness.

Mauro Rosales is questionable for the Sounders and replacing him isn't as easy as one simple substitution:

There are so many ways this could go because there is no straight like-for-like replacement for Rosales. Mario Martinez would be the most similar in playing style. Steve Zakuani could start out left with Brad Evans shifting back to the right. This would tweak left-right balance of the formation and would lead to more low crosses to the feet rather than heads. Or Sigi could go for a stronger defensive lineup putting rookie Andy Rose into the center mid and shifting Christian Tiffert to the right mid.

While the Sounders may be forced to play without Rosales on Thursday, they will get back leading scorer Eddie Johnson. Johnson missed the first match with an injury, but should be a big boost to Seattle's attack:

Johnson this year is not the Johnson of the past. He may actually be the perfect man for the system Sigi uses. Many MLS target men are just large. Eddie is fast, strong, can leap like an NBA dunker and has converted himself into menace inside the penalty area.

Thursday's match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. PT. Complete coverage can be found at Sounder at Heart.