Real Salt Lake enters their final game of the regular season with everything to play for.
A win for the Claret and Cobalt will secure them at least a top-two position in the Western Conference, while any other result could see them drop as far as fourth. Add in that RSL still have an outside chance at the Supporters’ Shield and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs that would come with it, and you’ve got yourself all the motivation that RSL needs to come out and play with 100 percent intensity.
RSL only have themselves to blame if they do not win this game and pick up the elusive no. 1 seed in the Western Conference that nobody seems to want. A late-season slide has turned what looked to be a simple road to the top spot into the “win and hope for the best” situation that they find themselves in.
RSL has won one of their last five MLS matches and picked up just five points out of a possible 15 in that time frame. They are also struggling to the find the net as they have only scored three goals in those five matches.
Chivas USA is eliminated from the postseason and has been for a while now, but don’t count out the Goats. They would love nothing more than to play spoiler over their last two games of the season. What a spoiler they could play too — Chivas will finish the season against the Portland Timbers at the StubHub Center on Saturday night.
If Chivas have any chance to get a result, they will surely need to play better defensively than they have in their previous three matches. The Goats have been outscored 11-1 since September 21 and have given up three or more goals in 10 of their games this season in all competitions. With that defensive record, it’s hard to see how Chivas can keep up with the determined squad they are about to face.
Chivas USA will travel to Sandy, UT to square off with Real Salt Lake at 9:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Oct 23. This game is not available on National TV, but is available on MLS Live.
Prediction: Real Salt Lake 3, Chivas USA 1
This one is a no-brainer, and here is the stat that will prove it. Real Salt Lake has scored three or more times in 11 games across all competitions this season. Factor in the statistic that Chivas have conceded three or more in 10 games this year, and you have the recipe for a blowout. RSL may be struggling to score, but this the kind of game they want to see on the schedule to help them out of their funk before the playoffs roll around next week.
With this result, Real Salt Lake would take the lead over the New York Red Bulls in the race for the Supporters’ Shield. RSL and NYRB would be tied with 56 points and 16 wins, but RSL would hold the no. 2 tiebreaker of goals scored.