SANDY -- Since pulling off a stirring road win at San Jose in its season opener, not much has gone right for Real Salt Lake in terms of gaining results.
The Claret-and-Cobalt look to put an end to that tonight, with Salt Lake set to host Western Conference rival Seattle at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kickoff between the Sounders and Real is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised live on CW30.
RSL will also be looking for a measure of revenge again Seattle, which jolted the Utah side out of the MLS Cup playoffs last season with a late goal at Rio Tinto Stadium. It was the only goal the Sounders scored in five matches against Real in 2012.
The Seattle-Salt Lake series was fiercely contested across those five matches, with it finishing 1-1-3 and featuring just two total goals as RSL captured a 1-0 result at CenturyLink Field early in the season, before the teams played to three consecutive scoreless draws. In regular season and MLS Cup play, the series stands at 4-4-5 in 13 all-time matches, with Seattle claiming a U.S. Open Cup victory during its inaugural 2009 campaign.
With the current round of FIFA World Cup qualifying now passed, Real welcomes back several key players that missed last weekend's 2-0 road loss at FC Dallas, while being away with national team commitments. The return of those players should give Kreis the ability to put together something far more resembling a first choice line-up.
Midfielder Sebastian Velasquez is also likely to be back in the lineup after missing last weekend's match due to illness.
Salt Lake currently sits at 1-2-1 overall, and is winless in its last three outings. Seattle doesn't enter tonight's clash with much more momentum as the Sounders are 0-2-1 in league play.
Seattle, however, has advanced to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, and will take on Santos Laguna on Tuesday at CenturyLink Field, which could prompt team boss Sigi Schmid to reign in the minutes of several of his regulars in anticipation of that critical home-leg match.