September 08, 2010 8:17 AM
REAL SALT LAKE (12-4-7; 43 pts.)SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (9-9-5; 32 pts.)8 p.m. Thursday, Qwest Field.TV: ESPN2.RADIO: 97.3 FM (1210 AM in Spanish).HEAD TO HEAD: The series is even, 1-1-1. The sides played to a 2-2 draw in their earlier match this season, April 10 at RSL.TEAM LEADERS: For RSL – G 8, Alvaro Saborio; A 7, Javier Moralez; S 37, Saborio; SOG 17, Morales; GAA 0.68, Nick Rimando. For Seattle -- G 10, Fredy Montero; A 9, Montero; S 72, Montero; SOG 30, Montero; GAA 1,24, Kasey Keller. SIGI SCHMID SCOUTING REPORT: “Saborio has become a bigger part of their team at this stage. Early in the season he was working his way into the team. Now he has definitely become their target, lead striker. (Fabian) Espindola and him have formed a good combination; so (Robbie) Findley plays a little bit less, but obviously he is dangerous off the bench.”NOTES: The Sounders will be without designated player Blaise Nkufo (knee) and defender James Riley (ankle). … Salt Lake is 11-1-6 since April, while Seattle is 7-1-2 over its last 10 games. However, the loss came last time out: 3-1 at New England on Saturday. … RSL is the defending MLS Cup champion. With a win tonight they would take the lead in this season’s Supporters Shield race. Salt Lake leads MLS in goal differential (plus-21), goals (37, or 1.61 per game), and three-goal games (six). Rimando leads the league with 11 shutouts and is second in goals-against average. Since May 1, Salt Lake has outscored its opponents 30-8. … RSL will be without starting defender Jamison Olave due to yellow-card accumulation. …. If Seattle defender Tyrone Marshall receives a caution he will have to sit out one game. … Seattle midfielder Nate Sturgis played for RSL in 2008 and part of 2007. … The referee is Paul Ward.NEXT: Seattle returns to CONCACAF Champions League play Tuesday at Saprissa of Costa Rica. The Sounders’ next MLS game is Sept. 18 at Columbus.