Playoff Preview: RSL v. Portland Timbers

Claret-and-Cobalt set for West Championship First Leg v. Portland

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (West #2) will host Portland Timbers (West #1) in the first leg of the Western Conference Championship series on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium. Sunday’s match will be broadcast nationally on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and locally on ESPN 700 AM and 102.3 La Gran D FM/1600 AM.

Sunday’s match will be the first leg of the two-legged Western Conference Championship series between Real Salt Lake and Portland Timbers. Real Salt Lake defeated LA Galaxy 2-0 in extra time on Thursday night at Rio Tinto Stadium in the Western Conference Semifinals second leg to win the series 2-1 on aggregate and advance to the Western Championship. Portland Timbers defeated Seattle Sounders FC 3-2 at JELD-WEN Field the same night to win that series 5-3 on aggregate.

The Western Conference Championship series will be the first playoff meeting between Real Salt Lake and Portland Timbers. RSL went 2-0-2 against Portland in all competitions this year, with a 1-0-2 mark in MLS regular season play. RSL drew the Timbers 3-3 on Aug. 21 in Portland, won 4-2 on Aug. 30 at Rio Tinto Stadium and drew 0-0 on Oct. 19 at JELD-WEN Field. The teams also played in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal on Aug. 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium, with RSL topping the Timbers 2-1.

Real Salt Lake is unbeaten in its last eight matches across all competitions against Portland Timbers. RSL is 5-1-3 all-time against the Oregon side, with the Claret-and-Cobalt’s lone loss against the Timbers coming in the first-ever meeting between the sides at JELD-WEN Field on April 30, 2011, just days after dropping the 2010-2011 CONCACAF Champions League Final. The Claret-and-Cobalt has had great success against the Timbers at home, posting a 4-0-1 record against Portland in the Beehive State across all competitions.

Real Salt Lake will be without leading scorer FW Alvaro Saborio on Sunday. Saborio suffered a right hip flexor strain in the second period of extra time in Thursday’s win over LA and was ruled out of Sunday’s match by RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis on Saturday.

This is the fourth time in the last six years that Real Salt Lake has qualified for the Conference Championship round. RSL is just the third team in MLS history, along with LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo, to qualify for the Conference Championship round four times in a six year span. The Claret-and-Cobalt’s six-year run of postseason qualification is the longest active streak in the league and is 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).

Tickets to the first leg of the RSL-Portland Western Conference Championship series are now on sale. Fans can purchase tickets to the match at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700. Sunday’s game is not included the 2013 RSL season ticket package.

How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Portland Timbers

  • Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
  • TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes
  • English Radio: ESPN 700 AM (Pregame begins at 6:00 p.m. MT)
  • Spanish Radio: La Gran D 102.3 FM & Juan 1600 AM
  • Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide live match updates

Game Guide for Sunday’s RSL-POR Match Now Available Online

Click here to download the PDF version of the MLS Game Guide for Sunday’s RSL-POR matchup

RSL History v. Portland Timbers

Real Salt Lake is 4-1-3 all-time in regular season play against Portland and 5-1-3 in all competitions against the Timbers. The Claret-and-Cobalt has had great success against the Timbers at home, posting a 4-0-1 record in Utah across all competitions.

RSL went 1-0-2 in the 2013 MLS regular season, drawing the Timbers 3-3 on Aug. 21 in Portland, winning 4-2 on Aug. 30 at Rio Tinto Stadium and drawing 0-0 on Oct. 19 at JELD-WEN Field. The teams also played in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal on Aug. 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium, a 2-1 RSL victory.