For a 4th time this year RSL will take on the Seattle Sounders on Friday night in the 1st half of their Western Conference Semi-final series. This will mark the 3rd trip for RSL to Seattle this year, they are 1-0-1 in the two matches played at CenturyLink this year, a 1-0 win and then most recently a 0-0 draw. These teams have become very familiar with each other over the last couple of years, and faced each other in the Semi-finals last year as well. That series featured a 3-0 RSL win at Rio Tinto Stadium in the 1st leg and a Sounders 2-0 win in the 2nd leg, which allowed RSL to advance to the Western Conference final last year.
The teams ended the season just a single point apart in the standings, RSL had 57 points to the 56 of the Sounders, RSL had 17 wins and the Sounders had 15, the Sounders pulled off 11 draws, while RSL settled for just 6 draws this year. Both sides were 11-4-2 at home this season, while RSL had the better road record at 6-7-4, while the Sounders were 4-4-9 away from home. So while the Sounders choose to focus on their local “Cascadia Cup” opponents as their top rivals, I tend to believe based on the action on the pitch that along with LA that the Sounds have become one of the better rivals of RSL. As RSL pointed out in their recently released infographic these teams have been over the past seasons two of the more evenly matches sides in MLS.
So what can you look forward to on Friday night?