RSL 3 – Seattle 0: Post-season Experience Speaks

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Real Salt Lake put the stamp of former champions on the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals by bagging the Sounders 3-0 in Rio Tinto Stadium. It wasn’t simply a shutout. Get this: RSL allowed Seattle ZERO shots on goal! Two things needed to happen for such a dominant performance. First, the RSL midfield had to shine (in particular, Beckerman had to slip back into his top form). Second, the backline had to completely plug the formidable Seattle offense. Let’s take a quick statistical look at these two factors.

Hold, Distribute, Recover

Beckerman’s numbers show a prime performance as a holder and the bottom cog in the RSL diamond midfield: 56/60 passing, 4 interceptions, 2 tackles and 14 recoveries. Here’s a visual which displays his work rate, range and consistency. Not quite the performance we saw when he suited up for the USMNT, but Jason Kreis will be happy.

Cutoff and Clear

Perhaps the more important performance, though, came from RSL’s 3 centerbacks–Olave, Borchers and Schuler (Olave was subbed): 4 blocks, 9 interceptions, 14 clearances and 7 recoveries. Here’s a chalkboard which highlights their combined performance:

In leg two, Seattle will need every one of their raucous fans to help break down a resolute RSL.

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