Real Salt Lake and the Vancouver Whitecaps both have a chance to overtake the teams behind them when they meet each other on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium as the Major League Soccer playoff race intensifies.
The Caps secured the final playoff position in the Western Conference by defeating the Colorado Rapids in midweek, while Claret and Cobalt are four points ahead of them in fifth after defeating the Seattle Sounders by the same margin.
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|Real Salt Lake
Tips and Prediction
Real Salt Lake are in a strong position to earn consecutive postseason appearances for the first time since the 2018 and 19 campaigns with nine games left in the regular season.
After losing some crucial members of their offense to start the season, Pablo Mastroeni has led this club to perform at a level that many people did not believe was feasible.
Although Salt Lake has lost their last two games played at Rio Tinto Stadium, both against opponents from the Western Conference, they have made the most of their home field advantage throughout 2022, scoring points in ten games.
Since the beginning of July, they have only won two games, but they have been much more reliable in the final third, scoring in eight of their past nine domestic games.
With the exception of two of their 13 regular-season games against the Canadians, RSL has enjoyed successful results versus the Caps in Utah.
The Capitals have been vying for a playoff spot in the Western Conference for a while, and after a close win over the Burgundy Boys on Wednesday, they have now gained entry into the top seven. After beating Sporting Kansas City at the end of May and beating RSL 2-1 at home to open June, this team has been a Jekyll and Hyde squad since July and hasn’t won or lost consecutive games.
Vanni Sartini witnessed his team start off well against the Rapids at home for the first time in their previous five MLS games. They were up at the break, their largest lead since holding a lead away in Dallas back on June 18.
The last time this squad earned three points away from home was that, and they are coming off a poor showing in Los Angeles a week ago, where they gave up four goals in the first half and looked a step or two behind the Galaxy the entire time.
With nine games left, Vancouver has a very small margin for error because four teams are within two points or fewer of the Caps for seventh place in the Western Conference. Vancouver is in the playoffs because they have one more victory than Nashville SSC
It is difficult to recall how many games this club appeared to have to win over the previous two campaigns, but they have performed admirably in the majority of those crucial contests, dropping just one of their final 11 regular-season games the previous year, something they can draw upon as the regular season comes to a close.
The Caps are playing Claret and Cobalt at a favorable time because Salt Lake has recently lost some confidence at home, but neither team should have a clear advantage this weekend because the Western Conference is currently so close.