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Real Salt Lake goes on top -- for now
October 24th, 2013 2:31AM
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[MLS REWIND: Week 35] By beating Chivas USA, 2-1, at Rio Tinto Stadium Wednesday night, Real Salt Lake ended its season as top dog in the Supporters’ Shield race.

The catch is that several other teams conclude their seasons over the weekend, so RSL (16-10-8, 56 points) knows only that it can finish no lower than second in the Western Conference. It avoids a wild-card game and has homefield advantage and plenty of down time until the conference semifinals, which kick off the weekend of Nov. 2-3.

Goals three minutes apart early in the second half by Alvaro Saborio and Joao Plata pushed RSL out to a 2-0 lead. In the 49th minute Saborio converted a penalty kick whistled for a handball by Mario de Luna, and in the 52nd Plata followed up a ball that been scuffed away from Javier Morales to bang home a shot from the top of the penalty arc.

Two Chivas USA subs sliced the lead in half in the 77th minute. Morales glided behind Tony Beltran -- himself an early replacement for Lovel Palmer, who suffered an injury to his left hamstring -- to gather a pass from Carlo Chueca and fire a shot past Nick Rimando.

Chivas USA threatened a few times in the final minutes but RSL held out to, at least temporarily, climb atop the overall standings by virtue of its tiebreaker advantage in total goals against New York, which also has 56 points and 16 wins (the first tiebreaker).

Chivas USA (6-19-8, 26 points) is destined to finish last in the conference yet can have a say in the final standings and thus the playoff scenarios. It hosts second-place Portland (13-5-15, 54 points) Saturday at StubHub Center.

By winning the Timbers will capture the conference title and could also claim the Supporters’ Shield if the Red Bulls lose their final game against Chicago while scoring fewer than five goals and Sporting Kansas City does not beat Philadelphia.

MLS WEEK 35, Results:
Wednesday, October 23
Real Salt Lake 2, Chivas USA 1.
RSL: Alvaro Saborio 49.
RSL: Joao Plata 52.
CHV: Julio Morales (Carlo Chueca) 77.
Att.: 20,447.

MLS WEEK 35, Schedule:
Saturday, October 26
3 pm ET
Philadelphia vs. Sporting KC NBCSN
4 pm ET
Toronto FC vs. Montreal Univision Dep.
5:30 pm ET
San Jose vs. FC Dallas NBCSN
10:30 pm ET
Chivas USA vs. Portland

Sunday, October 27
1:30 pm ET
D.C. United vs. Houston NBC
4 pm ET
Columbus vs. New England
5 pm ET
New York vs. Chicago UniMas
8 pm ET
Vancouver vs. Colorado
9 pm ET
Seattle vs. LA Galaxy ESPN
------------------------------------------------------------
MLS STANDINGS:
Eastern Conference:
PTS (GP) TEAM W-L-T +/-

56 (33) *New York 16-9-8 53/39
55 (33) *Sporting KC 16-10-7 45/29
49 (33) Montreal 14-12-7 50/48
49 (33) Chicago 14-12-7 45/47
48 (33) New England 13-11-9 48/38
-------------------------------------------
48 (33) Houston 13-11-9 39/40
46 (33) Philadelphia 12-11-10 41/42
41 (33) Columbus 12-16-5 42/45
26 (33) Toronto FC 5-17-11 29/47
16 (33) D.C. United 3-23-7 21/57
*Clinched playoff berth.

Western Conference:
PTS (GP) TEAM W-L-T +/-
54 (33) *Portland 13-5-15 49/33
53 (33) *Real Salt Lake 15-10-8 55/40
52 (33) *LA Galaxy 15-11-7 52/37
51 (33) *Seattle 15-12-6 41/41
51 (33) Colorado 14-10-9 45/35
-------------------------------------------
48 (33) San Jose 13-11-9 33/41
45 (33) Vancouver 12-12-9 50/45
44 (33) FC Dallas 11-11-11 47/50
26 (32) Chivas USA 6-18-8 29/60
*Clinched playoff berth.
------------------------------------------------------------
MLS LEADING SCORERS:
G PLAYER (TEAM)
20 Marco Di Vaio (Montreal)
20 Mike Magee (LA Galaxy/Chicago)
19 Camilo (Vancouver)
15 Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
13 Diego Fagundez (New England)
13 Dominic Oduro (Columbus)
11 Jack McInerney (Philadelphia)
11 Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)
11 Federico Higuain (Columbus)
11 Blas Perez (FC Dallas)


2 comments
  1. Simon Provan
    commented on: October 24, 2013 at 11 a.m.
    If Timbers win and SKC and NYRB lose, goals don't matter at all, so I'm not sure why that comment on 5 or fewer goals for NYRB is in the final paragraph. Look at the standings again. A PTFC win would put the club at 57 points while a losses by NYRB and SKC would keep them at 56 and 55 points, respectively. As such, no tie breakers would take place. Portland would win the SS outright.
  1. Simon Provan
    commented on: October 24, 2013 at 11:03 a.m.
    BTW - If PTFC wins and NYRB draws, goals still won't matter. The first tie breaker for the SS is total wins. So in this scenario, where both clubs would finish with 57 points, NYRB wins the SS. Not on goals, but because NYRB would have 16 wins compared to Portland's 14.

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