When it comes to producing good results in dramatic fashion, Real Salt Lake have cornered the market in the past couple of weeks.
Yura Movsisyan has become the team's last-minute man with his 90th-minute goals that boosted RSL into the MLS Cup Playoffs over Colorado and gave the team a 1-0 victory in the first leg of its playoff series with Chivas USA last weekend.
As good as dramatic wins feel, Movsisyan and RSL hope to not have to wait around so long for good things to happen in the second leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series against Chivas USA on Saturday.
"Like I said to the guys, maybe we should just start playing the last five minutes of every game and then the next 85," Movsisyan said. "We just seem to get it done."
Getting a last-second goal for a second consecutive week helped RSL get one important thing done. Real protected Rio Tinto Stadium and seized an advantage that will help greatly at The Home Depot Center.
Because the two-game series is decided on aggregate goals, RSL can settle for a draw and still punch a ticket to the Western Conference Championship next week.
One reason why RSL find themselves in such a good position is that they were able to flip the switch and turn a round of bad soccer against the Rapids into a solid 90 minutes against the Red-and-White.
Real outshot Chivas USA by an astounding margin, allowed no corner kicks and controlled possession and tempo for a sizeable chunk of the match.
"For me, that was one of the best soccer games we've played all year, and it's interesting that it comes on the heels of one of the worst soccer games we played all year," said Real coach Jason Kreis. "But that goes to show you that our team can absolutely play the game and they are fun to watch."
Team captain Kyle Beckerman thinks RSL can get the result they need if the team just approaches the second leg of the series with a calm demeanor.
"We learned we needed to relax a bit more," Beckerman said. "We needed to kill the game (at Colorado) and that's what we're going to try and do (at Chivas). Let's get on the ball and try to go after it and get the second [goal], but let's concentrate on playing good soccer and being relaxed."
For Chivas, the way things are playing out is producing flashbacks to a year ago. The Red-and-White were eliminated from the playoffs a year ago after losing the first leg of their semifinal series with Kansas City 1-0, then following up with a scoreless draw on the second leg at home.
Don't expect RSL to sit back and coast to a series win. Real want to leave nothing to doubt and plan on putting together an attack similar to what Chivas experienced at Rio Tinto Stadium.
"If we were up 2-0 or 3-0, we could certainly talk about changing (our strategy)," Kreis said. "But I do think this team has shown time and time and time again that we're a better team when we are aggressive."
One thing that should play into RSL's favor once again is the hobbled state of Chivas' roster. Seven players are either sidelined or considered questionable for Saturday's match.
Another factor that should not be discounted is the success that RSL has already had at The Home Depot Center this season. One of their two road victories in the regular season came against Chivas in a 1-0 result on June 14, the club's first win ever on the road against their expansion brethren.
Repeating such a feat won't be hard, according to Movsisyan, because the team has expunged its road woes for good.
"In the beginning we kind of had a hard time playing away, but we've improved week in and week out, and we can do it anywhere -- home or away -- as long as we play good soccer," Movsisyan said.
John Coon is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.