Real Salt Lake

RSL at Portland Timbers Preview

Real Salt Lake will play its final regular season road match on Friday, when it heads to the Pacific Northwest to take on the Portland Timbers at Providence Park at 8:00 p.m. MT. Friday’s match will be broadcast nationally on NBCSN and locally on ESPN 700 AM and 102.3 La Gran D FM.

Real Salt Lake enters Friday’s contest coming off a 2-0 win over San Jose Earthquakes that saw RSL clinch its seventh consecutive playoff berth – the longest active streak in the league. The Claret-and-Cobalt stormed off to an early lead with MF Ned Grabavoy recording the opening goal in the 24th minute. RSL MF Sebastian Velasquez doubled the lead just four minutes later, notching his first career regular season goal to put RSL up 2-0. With the victory, RSL now joins Seattle Sounders FC, LA Galaxy and FC Dallas as Western Conference clubs that have officially qualified for the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs. The Claret-and-Cobalt currently sits third in the west with a 14-8-10 record and a total of 52 points.

Real Salt Lake will look to put as much distance between itself and FC Dallas on Friday, in an effort to secure a third-place finish in the west and avoid the Knockout Round. The Texas club currently sits fourth in the Western Conference, just one point behind RSL. If the Claret-and-Cobalt win in Portland and Dallas lose or draw against Colorado Rapids on Saturday (NBCSN, 1:00 p.m. MT), RSL will clinch a third-place finish.

Friday’s match will be the third and final regular season meeting between Real Salt Lake and Portland Timbers. The two clubs have split the series so far this year, with RSL claiming a 1-0 win in the first meeting on April 19 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Timbers enacted revenge in the second encounter, pulling off a 3-1 on June 7 in Utah that snapped RSL’s 11-game unbeaten run against the Cascadia club.

Real Salt Lake has a successful history against the Portland Timbers, posting an 8-2-3 mark across all competitions against the Pacific Northwest side. RSL has an even record on the road, posting a 1-1-2 regular season record in Oregon, and going 2-1-2 across all competitions as the visitors.

Real Salt Lake will welcome back three players that missed the club’s last match against San Jose due to international duty. RSL GK Nick Rimando and FWs Joao Plata and Alvaro Saborio should be available for selection for the Portland match after returning from their respective national teams this week. RSL will still be without DF Chris Schuler, who suffered a broken nose and fractured orbital bones in the Claret-and-Cobalt’s 1-0 loss at Chivas USA on Oct. 5.

Portland Timbers enter Friday’s match desperate for points as it fights with Vancouver Whitecaps FC for the final Western Conference playoff berth. Portland sits sixth in the west with an 11-9-12 record and total of 45 points, one point behind fifth-place Vancouver. In its last MLS action, the Timbers recorded a 3-0 victory over San Jose Earthquakes at Providence Park on Oct. 8.

Real Salt Lake returns home after Friday’s match for its final regular season game of the year, when it hosts Chivas USA on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. MT. The RSL-Chivas match will be broadcast on CW30, ESPN 700 AM and 102.3 La Gran D FM.

RSL History v. Portland

Friday’s match will be the third and final regular season meeting between Real Salt Lake and Portland Timbers. The two clubs have split the series so far this year, with RSL claiming a 1-0 win in the first meeting on April 19 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Timbers enacted revenge in the second encounter, pulling off a 3-1 win in Utah on June 7 that snapped RSL’s 11-game unbeaten run against the Cascadia club.

Real Salt Lake has a successful history against the Portland Timbers, posting an 8-2-3 mark across all competitions against the Pacific Northwest side. RSL has an even record on the road, posting a 1-1-2 regular season record in Oregon, and going 2-1-2 across all competitions as the visitors.


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