Sounders Insider

Looking ahead to Real Salt Lake

The Sounders return to training this morning, so I'll pop back in with updates after that.

Meanwhile, here's an overview look ahead to their 6 p.m. Saturday game at Real Salt Lake from MLSsoccer.com:

Seattle Sounders FC at Real Salt Lake * The teams split their meetings in Seattle’s inaugural season, each winning at home. They also met in a U.S. Open Cup play-in match, won 4-1 at home by Seattle. * In the 1-0 loss to New York at home on Saturday, Sounders FC had a club record 12 corner kicks and also recorded 17 attempts at goal. "If you look at last season, Nate [Jaqua] scored almost all our goals on set pieces because he's the big boy we can hit and we don't have that target right now," said forward Freddie Ljungberg. "It's hard when we don't have players like Nate or someone who's extremely good in the air." * RSL defender Jamison Olave will be happy he does not have to play at Houston’s Robertson Stadium again this season (unless it’s in the MLS Cup Playoffs). Olave conceded two penalty kicks within a four-minute span in RSL’s 2-1 loss to the Dynamo last Thursday; he was sent off in both of RSL’s games at Houston last year.

And here are three interesting tidbits from the Sounders:

Up for the Cup HoldersDuring its brief existence the Sounders FC has exhibited an ability to raise its game when facing a champion. In its inaugural season, Seattle was unbeaten (3-0-2) in five meetings with cup holders, with all three wins coming on the road. It beat the Columbus Crew, holders of the Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup, on the road (1-0) and drew at home (1-1). Against the 2008 U.S. Open Cup champion D.C. United, Sounders FC finished even, 3-3, at home and won twice at RFK Stadium, including the 2009 Open Cup Final.

Road WarriorsSeattle finished strong on the road last season, winning four and losing only once in the final five trips. Its final mark of 5-5-5 was third-best in MLS. Sounders FC won its initial away match last season, 2-0 at Toronto FC. Over the final two months of the regular season it defeated the L.A. Galaxy (2-0), D.C. United (2-1), Columbus Crew (1-0) and Kansas City Wizards (3-2) on the road.

Let the Mileage BeginFor the second year in a row, no MLS team will travel more miles (49,740) than Sounders FC. With a trip to Philadelphia this season (instead of a second trip to Chivas USA a year ago), Seattle will log 2,842 more miles in 2010. Now the only team from the Pacific Northwest, Sounders FC will travel far fewer miles in 2011 with the addition of Portland (173 miles south) and Vancouver (141 miles north). At 701 air miles, Salt Lake City is currently the closest travel destination for Sounders FC.

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