Preview: RSL at Chivas USA
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (15-11-4, 49 points, West #3) returns to MLS action on Saturday, Sept. 29, when the team will take on Chivas USA (7-15-7, 28 points, West #9) at the Home Depot Center in Southern California. The match – which will kickoff at 8:30 p.m. MT – will be broadcast live on CW30 (pregame at 8:00 p.m. MT) ESPN700 AM (pregame at 7:30 p.m.) and La Gran D 102.3FM/ Juan 1600AM.
RSL enters Saturday’s match in third-place in the Western Conference, trailing the second-place L.A. Galaxy by virtue of the goals scored tiebreaker and ahead of fourth-place Seattle Sounders FC – which has a game in hand on both RSL and L.A. – by one point. The Claret-and-Cobalt clinched its fifth-straight postseason spot – the longest active streak in MLS – last Saturday by beating the Portland Timbers 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
It’s hugely important that Real Salt Lake finishes the regular season in the Western Conference’s top-three. Finishing fourth in the conference would put RSL in a one-off elimination game against the West’s fifth-seed, with the winner of that match advancing to the two-game Conference Semifinal series against the West’s top-seed. Playing in the elimination game would force RSL to play seven games in 24 days from Oct. 23-Nov. 17 in order to advance to the MLS Cup Final.
If RSL is to finish the season in the West’s top-three, it will likely need to pick up all three points at Chivas USA on Saturday. The Claret-and-Cobalt’s schedule gets significantly tougher following the Chivas match, with the team playing at the Home Depot Center for a second-consecutive week when it travels to L.A. for a match on Oct. 6, playing at Seattle on Oct. 17 and hosting fifth-place Vancouver on Oct. 27. RSL will also host Costa Rican champs C.S. Herediano in a must-win CONCACAF Champions League match on Oct. 23.
The Claret-and-Cobalt is 1-1-0 against former RSL assistant Robin Fraser’s Chivas USA squad in 2012, falling 0-1 to the Goats at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 24 before beating the Southern California side 3-0 at the Home Depot Center on the back of two Fabian Espindola goals on June 16. RSL will be looking for its third-straight win across all competitions on Saturday, having beat Tauro FC 1-0 in CCL play in Panama on Sept. 18 before downing Portland last weekend.
Chivas USA enters Saturday’s match on a down note. The team hasn’t won a game since beating Portland 1-0 on July 28, dropping its last five matches and going 0-8-1 in its last nine. Chivas –currently on a 352 minute scoreless streak – last played on Sunday, Sept. 23, giving up a second half goal to fall 0-1 at D.C. United.
Real Salt Lake will follow up Saturday’s match at Chivas USA with a contest at the L.A. Galaxy on Saturday, Oct., 6. RSL is 1-1-0 against the Galaxy this year.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake at Chivas USA
- Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. MT at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, Calif.
- TV: CW30 with Bill Riley & Brian Dunseth on the call
- English Radio: ESPN700 AM
- Spanish Radio: La Gran D 102.3 FM & Juan 1600 AM with Nelson Moran & Fernando Hortal on the call
- Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide match updates
Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL at Chivas USA Match Now Available Online
Following is the link to the Adobe PDF version of the Game Guide in advance of Saturday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA. If you have any problems obtaining the document, would prefer to receive it as an attachment, or are seeking more information on the match, please contact Media Services Manager Sam Stejskal in the RSL Communications Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RSL History v. Chivas USA
RSL has a losing record against its 2005 expansion brethren, posting an 8-10-4 all-time record against Chivas USA. The Claret-and-Cobalt is 1-1-0 against the Southern California side this year, falling 0-1 to Robin Fraser’s team at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 24 before beating Chivas USA 3-0 at the Home Depot Center on June 16.
Real Salt Lake is 4-7-1 all-time against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center. Eight of the club’s 23 all-time road wins have come at the Home Depot Center, with the aforementioned four against Chivas USA added to four at the 2011 Western Conference Final foe L.A. Galaxy.
RSL defeated Chivas USA in the Claret-and-Cobalt’s first-ever playoff series, beating the Goats 4-2 on aggregate in the 2008 postseason.