For the second straight year, Real Salt Lake will face the Seattle Sounders FC in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Expect the playoff rematch to be chippy. The teams have faced each other a total of 13 times, 11 regular season and two playoff matches. A total of 47 yellow cards and four red cards have been issued during those meetings averaging almost four cards per game.
Here is a list of the five best moments from the RSL-Seattle rivalry.
The Sounders played their second MLS game ever against Real Salt Lake in Seattle. The Sounders started their first season white hot beating RSL 2-0 en route to outscoring their opponents 7-0 in their first three games. The Sounders also throttled RSL 4-1 during US Open Cup qualifying. Seattle went on to win the US Open Cup, but RSL would get the last laugh, as it was a Seattle win that would put RSL in the playoffs.
Real Salt Lake finished the season with a losing record and battling with the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas for the final playoff spot. RSL finished the season tied with Colorado, but ahead on tie breakers. FC Dallas was one point behind RSL with one game left. Seattle only needed a tie to clinch the third seed in the west, but Sounders midfielder Brad Evans tapped in an 84th minute goal to deprive FC Dallas of a crucial point and guarantee RSL the final playoff spot in the west.
Seattle lost in the first round of the playoffs, and RSL would go on to win the MLS cup in Seattle by beating the Los Angeles Galaxy after seven rounds of penalty kicks on the Sounders home pitch.
Seattle traveled to Utah to for RSL's 2010 home opener where Seattle had to sit through RSL's pregame ring ceremony and championship banner raising. After an own-goal put Seattle up 2-1 in the 72th minute, coach Jason Kreis decided to sub in RSL's newest player, Alvaro Saborio. In the fourth minutes of stoppage time, Seattle keeper Kasey Keller failed to keep the ball in bounds and on the ensuing corner kick, Sabo headed home his first MLS goal to equalize in the final seconds.
After leaving Utah down 3-0, the Sounders offense came out strong in the second game of the Western Conference Semifinals in Seattle. RSL keeper Nick Rimando left goal to punch away the ball. He got tangled with a defender and miss hit the ball, punching it to Seattle's Jeff Parke who hit a perfectly timed strike toward what appeared to be an empty net.
RSL defender Tony Beltran was initially heading away from goal, but upon seeing Rimando's miss-hit doubled back just in time to head Parke's shot over the net. Seattle would go on to score two more goals but it would not be enough as RSL would pull out the victory 3-2 on aggregate.
RSL looked to capitalize on home field advantage dung the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals. Sabo had already scored one goal, before netting this no look backheel. It would prove to be demoralizing to the Sounders. Seattle would fail to find goal, and Ned Grabavoy would score what proved to be the go ahead goal that would eventually put RSL through to the next round.