Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Lovel Palmer, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Yordany Alvarez, Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, Luis Gil; Alvaro Saborio, Robbie Findley (Joao Plata, 72’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Tony Beltran, Carlos Salcedo, Cole Grossman, Khari Stephenson, Devon Sandoval
Portland Timbers (4-3-3): Donovan Rickets; Jack Jewsbury, Mamadou Danso, Pa Modou Kah, Michael Harrington; Diego Chara, Diego Valeri (Rodney Wallace, 64’), Will Johnson, Kalif Alhassan (Sal Zizzo, 88’); Jose Valencia (Frederic Piquionne, 68’), Darlington Nagbe
Substitutes not used: Milos Kocic, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Ben Zemanski, Ryan Johnson
PORTLAND – Real Salt Lake (15-10-8, 53 points, West #2) clinched its sixth-straight MLS Cup Playoff berth on Saturday night, tying the Portland Timbers (13-5-15, 54 points, West #1) 0-0 at JELD-WEN Field to lock up a spot in the postseason.
Real Salt Lake can still finish anywhere from first to fifth in the tightly-packed Western Conference. The Claret-and-Cobalt’s six-year run of postseason qualification is the longest active streak in the league and tied for the second-longest such streak in MLS history with the New York Red Bulls (2003-2008), trailing only the New England Revolution’s eight-year run (2002-2009).
While it ended scoreless, Saturday’s match was an up-and-down affair, with both teams playing high-quality soccer in front of a raucous Portland crowd. RSL GK Nick Rimando came up huge throughout, making several tremendous saves to help the Claret-and-Cobalt earn a point.
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis
Overall thoughts on the match:
"I'm generally pleased, really pleased, with the group's efforts tonight. The intensity that they came out with was spot on and pleased that they put the defensive effort out that we've been talking about for the two weeks since we've had a match. For me, it was a cleaner performance for us against a dangerous team in a difficult place to pick up points. So I look at it as a positive and if we can perform like that as we go into the playoffs, thinking that we'll have a home and away series, this is what you have to do when you're away. I'm hopeful that we can take some lessons out of this and carry it through the playoffs."