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Real Salt Lake went down to the wire in booking an Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs spot, earning passage back into the postseason with a 3-1 win on Decision Day against the Portland Timbers.

Now, head coach Pablo Mastroeni’s team will face No. 2 Austin FC in Round One as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference’s seven-team field.

Playoff history, key pieces

MLS Cup winners in 2009, RSL may be feeling some déjà vu after needing a Decision Day win in 2021 at Sporting Kansas City to enter the playoff mix. They’ll be hoping more magic awaits, carrying last year's run into a Western Conference Final trip before bowing out at the Portland Timbers.

Since booking their first playoff trip in 2008, the Claret & Cobalt have been a playoff team all but three years. They also made MLS Cup in 2013, though came up short.

RSL’s playoff push comes with Venezuelan international forwards Sergio Córdova and Jefferson Savarino as their leading scorers, two key signings under the club’s new ownership group.

A breakout season from midfielder Pablo Ruiz, alongside steady play from new starting goalkeeper Zac MacMath, are two important pieces to the puzzle. And they’ve reached this stage with long-term injuries to Damir Kreilach and Bobby Wood, two standout forwards.

Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs

MLS Cup 2022 is set for Nov. 5, while the playoffs will get underway Oct. 15 with Round One games (the top seed in each conference gets a bye).

The timeline takes into consideration the FIFA 2022 World Cup starting Nov. 20 in Qatar, rather than during the event’s typical summer months.