Real Salt Lake will have a golden opportunity to grab its first clear series win over Seattle on Saturday, should they draw or win. With the focus largely on the playoff standing effects this match creates, it can be easy to forget some of the joy RSL has had. Without further ado, some of the top moments between Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders.
Tony Beltran's headed clearance, 2011
In the second leg of the 2011 Western Conference Semifinal, RSL was facing a barrage of shots. With a weakened squad, particularly in defense, with Wingert and Schuler the central pairing, Tony Beltran made a decisive stop after Nick Rimando was caught out. With a simple (looking, not simple to execute) header, he sent the ball well above the goal, keeping RSL level in the first half. It was perhaps the decisive moment, as Seattle wasn't able to escape the 3-0 goal deficit from the first leg.
Javier Morales returns triumphantly; Saborio's backheel, 2011
After our talismanic midfielder was hacked out of contention for months in 2011, there were doubts that he'd ever be the same player we knew. With a fantastic bit of skill, he showed that he still had it when he ran the show in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinal - particularly as he turned brilliantly to play in Saborio for a magical back heel - giving RSL the 3-0 lead.
Winning the Cup at the Clink, 2009
Right, I know this didn't technically involve Seattle Sounders as a team, but the goodwill that was created between the two fan bases makes me laugh a bit. Not because it was a bad thing - it wasn't - but because it's changed so radically. Anyway, there are few things better than winning a cup final, and while we'd love to do it at home, maybe we can someday chant "We won the league! We won the league! We won the league at Century Link! We won the league at Se-attle! We won the league at Century Link!" Never mind that it was called Qwest Field until this year - it sounds nicer this way. Let's never let that get in the way of facts.
Espindola scores a fantastic goal, 2012
This is exactly what Fabian Espindola can do with the ball. My word, was it fantastic. The pass in from Luis Gil wasn't half-bad, either, was it? Anyway, watch this one, but don't let the commentary boil your blood too much.