SALT LAKE CITY — Little about this trip is straightforward for the Sounders as they prepare for Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake.
There’s the quick turnaround from Wednesday night’s 6-0 cup semifinal victory over Chicago, the Saturday brunch kickoff time and the complications that always come with playing at altitude.
And don’t even mention the lack of time on the ground: the Sounders landed in Salt Lake City around 1 p.m. Friday and will head back to the airport immediately following the match.
“It just means we have to be smart,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said after training at Rio Tinto Stadium. “We have to make good decisions with the ball. We have to attack at the right moments.”
– Frei on Rimando: Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei will be lined up opposite one of the most successful net minders in MLS history on Saturday. RSL’s Nick Rimando set the league’s all-time record for shutouts just last weekend with his 113th.
“Every goalkeeper is different,” Frei said. “He’s a bit on the shorter side, but he makes up for it with the speed. He’s so damn quick. I don’t have to be as quick as him, I’m not built that way. I just have to use my footwork to set myself up to make those saves.
“He’s very, very consistent. He can make the flashy saves but he can also make them consistently.”
– Beating the heat: The Sounders found a novel way to combat the temperatures that climbed over 90 degrees in Salt Lake City on Friday afternoon: DeAndre Yedlin and Lamar Neagle both joined the ALS ice bucket challenge currently sweeping the nation after training.
“We’ve been having kind of crazy weather in Seattle, too, so it doesn’t feel too bad,” Neagle said after he had dug all the ice out of his training shorts.