It's just an unbelievable feeling. It makes you want to score a lot. —Kyle Beckerman
CARSON, Calif. — Real Salt Lake returned to the place where it began its current stretch of success — and barely remained in serious contention for Major League Soccer's playoffs.
Kyle Beckerman scored seconds before the final whistle to give RSL a 1-1 tie with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night in front of 20,324 at the StubHub Center.
That tie, combined with FC Dallas' 0-0 tie with Orlando City and the Houston Dynamo's 2-1 victory over Minnesota United, put RSL (12-14-6) into a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference with Dallas. Both teams now have 42 points and trail fifth-place Houston by one.
"It felt like we won tonight," RSL coach Mike Petke said. "To get no points out of tonight would have been catastrophic."
RSL plays just two more regular-season games, while Houston and Dallas each have three.
Joao Plata began the scoring sequence with a 22-yard free kick that ricocheted to goalkeeper Clement Diop, who dived to his right to deflect the ball. But David Horst secured the rebound near the left post and passed to Beckerman, who sent a 9-yard shot into the upper-right corner of the net.
"I had total belief that Joao could score on the free kick," Beckerman said. "We just figured, for sure, follow up. I yelled to Dave that I was open. Dave laid off a great ball and I just smashed it.
"It's just an unbelievable feeling. It makes you want to score a lot."
RSL had to play with 10 men after Marcelo Silva received a red card in the 18th minute. Rubiel Vasquez originally gave Silva a yellow card for restraining Giovani Dos Santos by pulling his upper-left arm. But after a video review, Vasquez rescinded the yellow for a red.
"Everything we worked on all week leading up to the Galaxy game gets thrown on the window at that point," Petke said. "It's a shame. You work for five days in a row, specifically with video about how we're going to play. Then in (18) minutes, you crumple it up and say, 'Let's dull this game down. Let's try to counter on them.'
"We have to go to Plan B, sometimes Plan C, which is ugly. I don't like to sit back but down a man, you have to get into a good formation, try to deny as much as possible, and try to hit them on a break. We did that as good as I could have asked for."
Silva will be suspended for RSL's next game Oct. 15 on the road against the Colorado Rapids.
RSL began its 7-2-4 stretch on July 4 by routing the Galaxy 6-2. But Bradford Jamieson gave Los Angeles (7-17-8) a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute with his third goal of the year.
Jamieson cut behind defender Danilo Acosta to receive a pass from an unmarked Jermaine Jones, and with Justen Glad marking him, Jamieson took a 10-yard shot across his body that settled inside the left post.
RSL had yet to take a shot on goal when Jamieson scored. Los Angeles already had five.
Romain Alessandrini, the Galaxy's offensive leader with 11 goals and 10 assists, had two opportunities to put his club ahead in the first 11 minutes.
Alessandrini received Jones' long pass near the left corner, dribbled to the edge of the penalty and fired a shot that hit the crossbar in the fifth minute.
Then in the 11th minute, Jones sent a long pass from inside the center line to Dos Santos, who out-ran three defenders and formed a two-on-none breakaway with Alessandrini, who received Dos Santos' pass and took a 7-yard shot. But goalkeeper Nick Rimando used the inside of his left calf to block the shot.
Before RSL tied the score, the visitors had a scoring opportunity in the 85th minute with a 2-on-1 breakaway involving Joao Plata and Brooks Lennon. But after Lennon received Plata's pass and fired an 8-yard shot, goalkeeper Clement Diop dived to smother the ball.
"We didn't let down at all," Beckerman said. "We just dug in and rolled up our sleeves. We knew it was going to be hard. But we just kept believing that we could get something out of the game, and we fought until the end. We needed to."
Luis Silva returned to the starting lineup after a strained groin caused him to miss the Sept. 23 game against the Seattle Sounders. But Jefferson Savarino, who had two goals and two assists in his previous three games, left in the 68th minute with an apparent injury to his left ankle. No further update on his condition was provided.
"It didn't look good," Petke said. "He was limping off the field afterwards." Tony Beltran made his 230th career start for RSL, tying him with Chris Winger for third place in the category. Beltran's 244th career appearance for the club places him two behind Chris Wingert, who also holds third place in the category.