Goals are a valuable commodity for both Seattle Sounders FC and Real Salt Lake when they play each other. Especially in the 2012 regular season.
Real won the series this season 1-0-2, the only goal and win coming back in May.
In the first game of the 2012 playoff match-up between these two familiar foes, RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando was sensational. He had a spectacular save for every shot the Sounders had in them. For a 0-0 draw, the match was riveting.
"It was one of those days where it just didn't go in," Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said according to the Seattle Times. "But it wasn't a situation of a lack of trying or poor play that put us into that position."
However, things might be different in the series finale tonight.
Seattle is hoping the solution to their goal-scoring woes is the return of leading scorer Eddie Johnson, who has been out with an adductor strain.
Throughout the 2012 season, he scored 14 goals from 25 shots on goal and added two assists for the Sounders. He is the sixth-leading scorer in the MLS this season.
Unfortunately for Seattle, the third-leading scorer in the league, RSL's Alvaro Saborio, will also be vying for a goal tonight.
However, the main force the Sounders are preparing themselves for is the Real midfield led by captain Kyle Beckerman. It consists of a close-knit group of core players in a diamond formation who are constantly aware of each other.
According to the Seattle Times, Schmid admitted the RSL midfield has a lot more experience playing together than the Sounders.
"It makes them tough, it makes them a team you have to work hard against," Schmid said. "But it certainly doesn't make them unbeatable."
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The Earthquakes scored a stoppage-time goal in the first leg of the series to take a 1-0 advantage heading to their home stadium. The lead proved to not hold for the 'Quakes when L.A. took a 3-0 advantage into halftime.
Two goals came from the Irishman Robbie Keane and Mike Magee sealed the L.A. victory with another goal. Landon Donovan was key for the Galaxy throughout the game, especially in the first half with two assists.
Now the Galaxy await their next opponent, which will be decided tonight in Salt Lake City.
Whitney O'Bannon is currently a new media sports intern for the Deseret News.