RSL can grab spot in playoffs

Oct 18 2013 - 10:51pm

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PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Timbers mirror the personality of first-year coach Caleb Porter. With two matches left and a playoff berth within grasp, the team is all business.

The Timbers are in first place in Major League Soccer's heated Western Conference, a point ahead of Real Salt Lake and two points in front of the Seattle Sounders.

RSL and Portland meet at 8 p.m. tonight.

Portland and New York are atop the race for the Supporter's Shield for the team with 53 points in 32 games, although the Red Bulls hold the tiebreaker with more wins.

The even-keeled Porter has his team believing that it's not "if" but "when" the Timbers earn their first post-season berth since joining Major League Soccer in 2011.

RSL can clinch its sixth straight MLS Cup playoff berth with a win or losses by other teams.

Real will be without the services of MF Javier Morales, who is suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation.

However, captain Kyle Beckerman (U.S.), GK Nick Rimando (U.S.) and FW Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) all return from international duty.

Real Salt Lake will close the regular season on Wednesday, when its host Chivas USA.

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