Real Salt Lake took a big step toward potentially qualifying for the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs with a 2-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders in Sandy, Utah on Saturday night. Concurrent losses by the San Jose Earthquakes and FC Dallas have RSL sitting in fifth place, securely above the playoff line in the standings, as the post-season race starts to begin in earnest.
After a stalemate first half, RSL got a big second half from Jefferson Savarino, who was involved in both goals. He scored the opener, hitting a first-touch shot finessed over Stefan Frei's outstretched hand after running onto a nice Albert Rusnak through-ball in the penalty area. Later, it was Savarino running onto a Joao Plata long-ball into space that allowed him to hit a low cross that Luke Mulholland was able to bang home to secure the win for Salt Lake.
- DOS A CERO: RSL vs. the Sounders is often touted as one of the more competitive MLS rivalries, but as of late the series has been rather one-sided. This is the sixth straight win in the series for RSL, with the Sounders conceding two goals in each of those games.
- SAVARINO WARMING UP: Four wins in their last five tries have RSL climbing in the Western Conference standings, but Savarino also has a four-for-five stat, having registered either a goal or an assist in four of RSL's last five outings. The Designated Player has the Salt Lake offense clicking to the tune of 12 goals in their last four home games, all wins.
- SEATTLE COOLING OFF: The Sounders came into the match with RSL on a 13-match unbeaten streak, but the four straight draws at the end of the streak mask a lack of production over the last month. Before this match, they scored no goals in a 0-0 match against an FC Dallas team that surrendered 4 goals to Minnesota United on Saturday. Prior to that, their 1-1 draw against an LA Galaxy side that's given up four goals in two straight games didn't pair well, either, with their continued lack of offensive production against Salt Lake.
- RSL: Saturday, September 30th at LA Galaxy (10:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE)
- SEA: Wednesday, September 27th vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (10:30 pm ET | TSN, MLS LIVE)
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