Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sounders FC Visits Real Salt Lake in Second Leg of Western Conference Semifinal

Seattle Sounders FC will look to advance to the Western Conference Final for the first time in club history on Thursday night in the second leg of the semifinal series with Real Salt Lake. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. PT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

The match will be the second of the two-game aggregate goal series. The sides finished level at 0-0 on Friday night at CenturyLink Field, so Seattle must win on Thursday to advance. If the aggregate score is tied after 90 minutes, the teams will play a 30-minute overtime period followed by penalty kicks, if necessary.

If you are looking to bet on this game, check out CarbonSports.ag for betting lines for Sounders FC vs. Real Salt Lake.
The winner of the semifinal series will face the San Jose-LA Galaxy victor, which the Earthquakes lead 1-nil after Sunday's match in Los Angeles.

In the Eastern Conference, fifth-seeded Houston Dynamo downed Sporting Kansas City at home, 2-0, while New York and D.C. United both conceded an own goal in a 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The series with RSL kicked off on Friday night at CenturyLink Field as the teams battled to their third straight scoreless draw. The strong attacking play from both sides was thwarted by great goalkeeping by Michael Gspurning and Nick Rimando, who each made highlight-reel saves to preserve the shutout.

The scene now shifts to Sandy, Utah, where Sounders FC has the league's longest unbeaten streak (1-0-2), holding Salt Lake scoreless in the last visit on July 4. Seattle hopes to learn from last postseason where the Rave Green were stunned, 3-nil, by RSL in the away leg.

With three consecutive scoreless draws, and just one goal scored in the past four meetings, both the Seattle and Salt Lake attack will likely push for goals in the final 90 minutes of the series. And, fortunately for the Seattle faithful, leading scorer Eddie Johnson will return to the fold on Thursday to provide a spark to an already potent Rave Green attack.

The three other Conference Semifinal matchups will be played on Wednesday. New York hosts D.C. United at 5 p.m. PT. The Houston Dynamo visit Sporting Kansas City at 6 p.m. PT, and the San Jose Earthquakes host the LA Galaxy at 8 p.m. PT.

The Conference Finals begin on Saturday, November 10 and will conclude on Sunday, November 18. MLS Cup will be played on December 1 at the home site of the higher seed.