Real Salt Lake Travels to Portland Saturday, Facing Timbers in Western Conference Final
HERRIMAN, Utah - Real Salt Lake continues its historic Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoff run this Saturday, December 4 at 4:30 p.m. MT on the road against Portland Timbers FC at Providence Park, as this Western Conference Final determines who will advance to MLS Cup 2021. For Real Salt Lake, the chance to play in the Club's third MLS Cup Final comes in the Claret-and-Cobalt's fifth all-time Conference Final appearance since joining MLS in 2005.
Saturday's match will be nationally broadcast on FS1 and Fox Deportes in the United States and TSN and TVA Sports in Canada. ESPN700 AM will carry the local English radio broadcast and Spanish-speaking fans can tune in on KBMG Latino 106.3, La Gran D 102.3 and KTUB 1600.
Despite being on the road, local fans can still support the team by attending one of two watch parties. The Club will once again host fans 21+ at Beer Bar in downtown Salt Lake City. Meanwhile, the Club will host an all-ages event at the Rio Tinto Stadium Zagg Club located on the Stadium's East Side in Sandy, just south of the RSL Team Store. Both watch parties will begin at 3:30 p.m. MT.
Real Salt Lake at Portland Timbers
Providence Park; Portland, Oregon
Saturday, December 4 at 4:30 p.m. MT
Records: Real Salt Lake (14-14-6, 48 points, 7th in West, 1-0-1 Playoffs; 6-5 SOW in Round 1, 2-1 win in Semifinal); Portland Timbers (17-13-4, 55 points, 4th in West, 2-0-0 Playoffs, 3-1 win in Round 1, 1-0 win in Semifinal)
Head-to-Head: Real Salt Lake owns a 8-12-8 all-time regular season record against Portland Timbers, and a 2-6-6 record at Providence Park. However, RSL is undefeated against Portland in postseason play, winning all three previous MLS Cup Playoff contests between the two sides. In the Clubs' last postseason meeting, RSL won 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium over the Timbers in a 2019 Round One matchup. In that match, RSL MF Damir Kreilach saw his 28th-minute score cancelled early in the second half by Portland's Dairon Asprilla. RSL FW Jefferson Savarino struck the late game-winning goal in the 87th minute, RSL advancing to a West Semifinal in Seattle.
How We Got Here: Last Sunday, RSL continued its historic postseason run with a dramatic 2-1 win at rival Sporting Kansas City. After conceding a 24th-minute penalty, Manager Pablo Mastroeni's team clawed its way back into the match, first with a 72nd-minute goal from second-half substitute FW Anderson Julio, and advancing at the death with a stoppage-time game winner from FW Bobby Wood, assisted by another game-changing substitute, winger Justin Meram.
Real Salt Lake is unbeaten in four consecutive games on the road in recent weeks, riding a stoppage-time stunner in Kansas City on Decision Day to qualify for the Playoffs. Sunday's postseason win in Kansas City arrived on the heels of the team's shocking takedown of Seattle Sounders FC, surviving 120 scoreless minutes of regulation and extra time before advancing in penalty kicks. A dramatic sixth round save from GK David Ochoa preceded the clinching penalty from DF Justen Glad, the two homegrowns leading RSL to victory.
Connections: RSL MF Nick Besler was selected fifth overall by the Portland Timbers in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft and spent two seasons with the club's USL Championship side before coming to Utah via Real Monarchs prior to the start of the 2017 season. On the other side, Portland goalkeeper Jeff Attinella appeared in 29 matches for Real Salt Lake from 2013-16. RSL FW Rubio Rubin was born and raised just outside of Portland in Beaverton, Oregon.
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