Real Salt Lake will close out regular season play on Wednesday night, when it hosts Chivas USA at Rio Tinto Stadium at 7:30 p.m. MT. The RSL-Chivas contest will be broadcast live on CW30, ESPN 700 and 102.3 La Gran D FM.
The Claret-and-Cobalt enters Wednesday’s contest needing a win in order to have a chance at finishing third in the Western Conference and avoid the Knockout Round between the fourth and fifth-place teams. RSL can only clinch third-place if it defeats Chivas USA, and FC Dallas loses or draws against Portland Timbers on Saturday, Oct. 25. If both RSL and Dallas end the season even on points, the Texas club claims the first tiebreaker – total wins – as it has two more than the Claret-and-Cobalt with only one game remaining. RSL currently sits fourth in the west with a 14-8-11 record and total of 53 points.
In its last MLS action, Real Salt Lake played Portland Timbers to a scoreless draw at Providence Park on Friday. Claret-and-Cobalt GK Nick Rimando continued to show why he is one of the best in the league, making a total of six saves to record his sixth shutout of the year and his 114th career clean sheet. Real Salt Lake went 1-1-1 against the Timbers in 2014 and now posts an 8-2-4 all-time record across all competitions against the Cascadia club. The match in Portland was also RSL’s final regular season road game, improving its 2014 road record to 4-7-6.
Wednesday’s contest in Sandy will be the third and final regular season meeting between Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA, with RSL looking for its first win against the SoCal club this year. In the first encounter on June 28 at StubHub Center, RSL went down to ten men in the ninth minute after MF Luke Mulholland saw straight red for a tackle on MF Martin Rivero. Chivas USA FW Erick Torres went on to score the lone goal in the 35th minute to put the home side up 1-0, a lead RSL could not overcome. RSL suffered a similar fate when it faced the Red-and-White in California again on Oct. 5, falling 1-0 as the visitors for a second time.
Real Salt Lake will still be without DF Chris Schuler who is recovering from a broken nose and fractured orbital bones suffered in RSL’s last meeting with Chivas USA on Oct. 5. With the exception of Schuler, the Claret-and-Cobalt should have a fully healthy squad available for Wednesday’s finale. Last week saw the return of its players called up for international duty, with Rimando starting against Portland and FWs Joao Plata and Alvaro Saborio making second half appearances.
Real Salt Lake posts a 12-12-4 all-time regular season record against the Red-and-White and a 13-12-5 record across all competitions. The Claret-and-Cobalt has had more success at home against Chivas USA, going 6-3-3 against the Goats in the regular season in Utah and outscoring them 18-11. In addition, RSL is 5-1-1 all-time at Rio Tinto Stadium against Chivas USA, outscoring Chivas 10-3 while posting four shutouts. That includes a playoff match in 2008 when Real Salt Lake bested Chivas 3-2 in the series after a 1-0 win in Sandy. Overall, Chivas hasn’t scored more than one goal in a regular season match against RSL since 2008, a span of 16 matches.
Chivas USA enters Wednesday’s match coming off a 2-1 win over Colorado Rapids on Oct. 11. The SoCal club has now won two of its last matches to improve its season record to 8-18-6. The Goats currently sit in eighth-place in the Western Conference with a total of 30 points.
RSL History v. Chivas USA
Real Salt Lake posts a 12-12-4 all-time regular season record against the Red-and-White and a 13-12-5 record across all competitions. The Claret-and-Cobalt has had more success at home against Chivas USA, going 6-3-3 against the Goats in the regular season in Utah.
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