CARSON, Calif. — Real Salt Lake won the latest round of MLS heavyweights Saturday night, and suddenly have renewed interest in earning the Supporters’ Shield.
Alvaro Saborio scored goals about 2 1/2 minutes apart midway through the first half and Real Salt Lake beat the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 Saturday night at Honda Center.
Saborio scored in the 25th and 28th minutes to help RSL (17-11-4) overcome an early deficit to pull five points ahead of the Galaxy (15-12-5) and six in front of Seattle in the battle for second place in the Western Conference. RSL and L.A. have two games remaining; Seattle, which plays Portland on Sunday, has four left.
The fourth-place team must win a wild-card game to enter the playoff bracket.
“When we play these guys, they throw haymakers, then we throw haymakers,” RSL captain Kyle Beckerman said.
“There was no panic on our part when we went down. This is a great win.”
The Galaxy struck first, on a superb Robbie Keane volley in the 17th minute, but struggled to break down RSL’s defense in front of a sellout crowd of 27,000 at the Home Depot Center.
Los Angeles star Landon Donovan limped off with a leg injury with about 10 minutes left in the loss, creating doubt whether he will be available for the United States’ upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Antigua and Barbuda, and Guatemala.
The 30-year-old midfielder missed last month’s qualifiers against Jamaica.
“I think we’ll be happy with how few chances we gave up,” Beckerman said, reviewing Real’s last three matches, all wins. “We still need to tighten things up.”
• FIRE 2, RED BULLS 0: At Harrison, N.J., Sherjill MacDonald scored two second-half goals, lifting Chicago to a crucial win over the New York Red Bulls.
The Fire (17-10-5) jumped three points ahead of the Red Bulls (15-9-8) in the Eastern Conference, with two games remaining, and moved closer to earning a spot in the MLS Cup playoffs. Chicago can get in if Columbus loses to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
MacDonald, who had only two goals this season before Saturday, made it 2-0 in the 79th minute, taking a pass from Daniel Paladini and sprinting past two defenders to touch it gently past Robles.
• D.C. UNITED 1, TORONTO FC 0: At Toronto, Hamdi Salihi scored a late goal to give D.C. United a win over Toronto FC.
Last-place Toronto (5-20-7) stretched its winless streak to 12 games since beating Colorado on July 18.
Conceding late goals has been recurring issue all season for the Reds. Former Toronto player Maicon Santos sent a cross from the right side in the 88th minute that TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic mishandled.
Salihi was in the right place to tap in the goal from close range for United (16-10-6).
• IMPACT 1, DYNAMO 1: At Houston, Sanna Nyassi scored in the second half and the Impact tied the Dynamo.
Despite the tie, Montreal (12-15-5, 41 points) was eliminated from MLS playoff contention, while Houston (13-8-11, 50 points) extends its lead over Columbus for fifth place in the Eastern Conference and the final playoff spot to two points.
• UNION 1, REVOLUTION 0: At Chester, Pa., Jack McInerney converted a header off a free kick in the 73rd minute, lifting the Union past the Revolution.
Following a foul on teammate Michael Farfan, Keon Daniel took the free kick from 20 yards out and sent a clear pass to McInerney, who scored his team-leading seventh goal. It was also the third consecutive game that he scored.
The Union improved to 10-15-6 and have never lost to the Revolution in seven career meetings (4-0-3).