RSL clinches playoff spot, Western Conference picture still wide open
Real Salt Lake was able to come away from Sunday’s carnage across the Western Conference playoff picture with a secured spot in the postseason, but a number of other clubs in the hunt weren’t so lucky.
Jefferson Savarino bagged a 75th minute winner to put RSL past Houston Dynamo 2-1, pushing them up to fifth in the Western Conference standings and securing a playoff position with 50 points, six above the cut line. The shot was a low drive from the edge of the box that caught Tyler Deric too close to his near post.
Not every team in the playoff hunt was so lucky. The Portland Timbers came from behind to draw Sporting Kansas City on the road 2-2, but it wasn’t enough to clinch, as they remain just two points above the cut line. The match featured three red cards, including the decisive moment in the 84th minute when Jeremy Ebobisse was tugged back by Ilie Sanchez while free on goal. It was a clear penalty and the referee sent off the Sporting KC defender for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Dairon Asprilla stepped up and produced a blistering penalty into the top-right corner, earning Portland the draw. The lone point still leaves them vulnerable, however, and now they face a do-or-die meeting with San Jose next weekend.
Speaking of the Earthquakes, they were pegged back at the death, denied a chance to jump above the cut line as Jordan Morris scored at the death, using his blistering speed to beat Florian Jungwirth to a poor back-pass header by Magnus Eriksson. On the break he finished cooly past Daniel Vega to fire an arrow into the hearts of the Earthquakes. San Jose can still find its way into the playoffs, controlling its own destiny, but they must win next week against the Timbers
Finally, FC Dallas slumped to a rough 3-0 defeat at Colorado, leaving them vulnerable as well as the final playoff team in the current standings, holding just a point advantage over the Earthquakes. FC Dallas out-shot Colorado 17-14, but were comprehensively beaten 10-3 in shots on target as their finishing let them down. Jack Price scored 10 minutes in to put Colorado up, and goals from Diego Rubio and Kei Kamara finished it off. They have a home date with Sporting KC on the final day where a win would clinch a playoff spot.