Hanging on to win the Supporters’ Shield was always going to be a long shot for Real Salt Lake this weekend, and that’s exactly how it played out Saturday.
To finish with the best record in Major League Soccer, RSL needed both Kansas City and Portland to tie or lose on Saturday, but neither of those results transpired.
Kansas City scored a late winner at Philadelphia to prevail 2-1, then Portland scored early and often against Chivas USA in a 5-0 win, results that sealed Real Salt Lake’s fate as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference for next week’s MLS playoffs.
RSL will open the playoffs next Saturday or Sunday at the West No. 3 seed, then play the return leg in the two-game conference semifinals at Rio Tinto Stadium on either Wednesday, Nov. 6 or Thursday, Nov. 7.
Real Salt Lake won’t learn its conference semifinal opponent until Sunday night, but it’s guaranteed to face either Seattle, Los Angeles or Colorado. All three teams play Sunday, and currently Los Angeles sits on 52 points while Seattle and Colorado are level on 51 points.
Los Angeles and Seattle square off Sunday night, while Colorado travels to Vancouver.
Real Salt Lake has enjoyed mixed success against all three teams this year. Coach Jason Kreis’ team is 2-1-0 against Seattle, 0-1-2 against Colorado, and 1-2-0 against Los Angeles.