The Sounders returned home today to face a goal is as straightforward as it is daunting.
“We've got to score four,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “It's very simple. We can't allow any goals. There's no secret strategy. Everybody's got to play better soccer than what they've played. Everybody's got to put in a better performance, from the coaching staff, to the support staff, to the players. Everybody's got to do better at what they did, because (Saturday) wasn’t good enough."
Real Salt Lake's 3-0 rout of Seattle on Saturday means the Sounders need to outscore Salt Lake by at least three goals Wednesday when the series resolves at CenturyLink Field. If the aggregate score of the combined games is even the end of regulation, there would be 30 minutes of extra time. If the deadlock remained, the series would be settled by penalty kicks.
Those three-goal routs are rare, but they happen. During this 34-game regular season, the Sounders won three times by three or more goals. All three games were played at home. Meanwhile, Real Salt Lake has lost by three goal three times this season, all since Sept. 24.
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One issue that could provide both an emotional and on-field boost for the Sounders would be the return of midfielder Mauro Rosales, who missed the opener with a knee injury.
Last week, Schmid called Rosales’ status “iffy” for Wednesday, but the club should get a clearer indication when they return to training tomorrow.