Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published August 15, 2014 at 7:43 PM | Page modified August 15, 2014 at 7:53 PM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments
  • Print

Margin of error is slim for Sounders in Saturday’s match-up against Real Salt Lake

The teams top the Western Conference, with Seattle ahead by two points in the standings


Seattle Times staff reporter

Sounders FC at Real Salt Lake

11:30 a.m. Saturday @ Rio Tinto Stadium

Get Adobe Flash player

advertising

SALT LAKE CITY – Few give due credit to the goalkeeper after a 6-0 win.

Buried beneath the avalanche of late Sounders goals in Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup rout of Chicago were Stefan Frei’s string of vital first-half saves.

In the 16th minute, the Seattle keeper sprawled to his right to keep out a low drive from Quincy Amarikwa.

Five minutes later, Frei blocked a free kick with his chest, then swatted the rebound aside with a big left paw.

If either shot finds the net, the early Sounders goal gets cancelled out, the score evens up and the whole match changes.

The margin for error will be even thinner Saturday afternoon when Seattle takes on Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah in a match-up between the top two teams in the Western Conference.

Seattle has a two-point edge in the standings, there’s an unusual kickoff time of 11:30 a.m. PT and the weather is forecasted at 86 degrees at kickoff.

Frei’s opposite, Nick Rimando, is also the new all-time MLS shutout leader with 113.

“We know Rimando’s strengths,” Seattle attacker Lamar Neagle said.

“He’s a great keeper. We know we’re going to have to do something special to beat him.”

Frei is still working himself back into top shape after missing most of the 2012 season with a broken leg and spending the bulk of 2013 as a back-up in Toronto before being traded to Seattle last offseason.

“It’s been a process,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said.

“But I can tell the confidence is growing all the time. I’m very happy with how he came along.”

Saturday represents one of his biggest tests in a Sounders uniform: A parry here or a fingertip there could be decisive in a matchup of teams as even as these.

In 13 all-time league matchups, Salt Lake has won five and Seattle four, with the pair sharing four draws.

The Sounders have scored 14 goals and Real Salt Lake 11, the former padding the gap with a 4-0 victory in Seattle in late May.

“It’s going to be a battle,” Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso said. “It always is with Salt Lake.”

The men between the posts won’t man the first line of engagement, or even the second.

But they represent the final one.

Matt Pentz: 206-464-3184 or mpentz@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @mattpentz.



Free 4-week trial, then $99 a year for unlimited seattletimes.com access. Try it now!

Also in Sports

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

The Seattle Times Historical Archives

Browse our newspaper page archives from 1900-1984

Career Center Blog

Career Center Blog

Looking for joy on the job


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►