RSL can clinch a playoff spot with either a win or a tie against the Portland Timbers Saturday night. RSL trails the Timbers by just one point for the best overall record, so this match is huge.
"It's a big game no doubt," said defender Nat Borchers. "It could likely decide the Supporters' Shield champion."
"For sure," agreed defender Chris Wingert. "It's 1 versus 2, we've created a bit of a rivalry with them this year with so many big games already against them."
"I think everybody knows how big this game is," said goalkeeper Nick Rimando. "We're not going to take this lightly. We can only concentrate on ourselves and hopefully put out a good peformance."
Portland has been extremely hot, especially at home. The Timbers have a 16-game home unbeaten streak, but RSL has fared well against Portland this season, going 2-0-1.
"I think we match up really well against them," said Borchers. "But I think they've gotten a lot better since the previous times that we've played them."
"There's no secret," said midfielder Kyle Beckerman about RSL's success against Portland. "We've gotten lucky, we've played well there, and hopefully we can continue that."
Real Salt Lake will clinch its 6th straight playoff spot if they beat or tie the Timbers, but they can also get in even if they lose. If San Jose loses or ties or loses to the L.A. Galaxy on Sunday.
"If we take care of business, we're in," said Wingert simply.
RSL and Portland do battle Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. on CW30.