November 1, 2012
Sounders, RSL open playoff quest
Western Conference quarterfinals:
#2 REAL SALT LAKE (17-11-6, 57 pts) @ #3 SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (15-8-11, 56 pts), 10:00 pm ET (NBCSN)
Home has been where the heart is for both Seattle Sounders FC and Real Salt Lake, who open their two-leg Western Conference quarterfinal series Friday night at CenturyLink Field. Both teams amassed imposing 11-4-2 records on their home fields during the regular season. The Sounders were a little better at snatching points on the road, losing only four of 17 games, but when RSL got a decision it was more likely to be a win. Sounders FC dropped their final regular season game, 1-0 to the LA Galaxy. But more costly than the three points or the end of their four-game unbeaten streak was an adductor strain suffered by scoring leader Eddie Johnson that left him questionable for Friday’s match. Only one goal has been scored in the two regular season games between these two teams played in Seattle. That tally, by Fabian Espindola on May 12, gave RSL a 1-0 victory and the only win in the teams’ three-game regular-season series. RSL roared into the postseason on a five-game unbeaten run, but have not scored a goal since October 6, a 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy.