RSL heads to L.A. to open MLS Cup

Nov 2 2013 - 11:01pm

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The season is in the books, but there is still one last piece of silverware to be distributed.

The Major League Soccer Cup.

Real Salt Lake's run toward the final major trophy of 2013 begins tonight when the Claret-and-Cobalt heads to the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., to take on two-time defending Cup champion Los Angeles.

The two-leg, aggregate goals series between RSL and the Galaxy gets under way at 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

The second leg of the series will be at Rio Tinto Stadium at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The winner of the series will be determined by aggregate score. If the two teams are tied on aggregate at the end of regulation on Thursday, then two 15-minute extra time periods will be played and if a winner is still not yet determined, it will be decided with a penalty kick shootout.

Salt Lake went 1-2-0 against Los Angeles in three regular-season meetings, losing the season series for the first time in since 2009. The Galaxy captured the first meeting between the two teams by a 2-0 count at Rio Tinto Stadium on April 27, with RSL rebounding to take a 3-1 win on June 8.

In the third and final meeting, Los Angeles' Robbie Keane torched Salt Lake with a hat trick in a 4-2 victory on Aug. 17.

Prior to that defeat in August, Real had won five straight matches at the Carson facility (formerly known as the Home Depot Center).

Salt Lake is 10-11-6 all-time against Los Angeles, and 0-1-1 in postseason play. That draw however happened in the 2009 MLS Cup, which Real claimed on penalties. The Galaxy drubbed RSL 3-1 in their other playoff meeting in the 2011 Western Conference final, with Los Angeles going on to win the first of two straight MLS Cups after that victory.

After a dominant 2011 season that saw it win both the Supporter's Shield and MLS Cup, Los Angeles finished fourth during the 2012 regular season, but hit their stride at exactly the right time, winning a knock-out game, before taking out Shield winner San Jose in the Western semifinals and Seattle in the conference final. In the Cup final, the Galaxy fell behind 1-0, but quickly rallied and ultimately took a 3-1 victory.

 

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