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13 Days Update - One down and 4 to go for Real Salt Lake

Wednesday Night saw RSL start off a bit slow and TFC start off with lots of emotion and energy, but in the end it was a match in which the home team did what they almost always do at home, get the job done.  the 4-1 victory was enough to keep them tied for the top spot in Group A but the 6-0 thrashing that Cruz Azul put on Arabe gives them the top spot in the tiebreaker, here is the way the group stands after 3 matches:








Cruz Azul







Real Salt Lake







Toronto FC







 Arabe Unido







Phase 2: Group Stage
· Greater number of points earned in matches between the teams concerned
· Greater goal difference in matches between the teams concerned
· Greater number of goals scored away from home in matches between the teams concerned
· Reapply first three criteria if two or more teams are still tied
· Greater goal difference in all group matches
· Greater number of goals scored in group matches
· Greater number of goals scored away in all group Matches
· Drawing of lots

This means that RSL will need to hope that TFC can put up more fight against Cruz Azul in Mexico City than did Arabe and that RSL can find a way to get a result when they head to Panama on Wednesday.  All of this really means that the match on October 19th when Cruz Azul comes to "Castle Real" will be a match that could determine the fate of both teams.

after the jump some thoughts about the upcoming Real Salt Lake vs. Chicago Fire match:

So RSL was kind enough to dig into the numbers behind the teams current 22 match home unbeaten streak:

Since last losing on May 16, 2009 against Kansas City on a pair of Josh Wolff goals, here's the 22-game unbeaten streak for RSL, by the numbers:

13 - number of RSL players to score at home

12 - RSL shutouts by GK Nick Rimando

11 - opposing players to each score once during streak

10 - crowds of 18,000+ or more at Rio Tinto Stadium

9 - goals by FW Robbie Findley, tops among scorers

8 - goals by FW Álvaro Saborío, all coming in 2010

7 - total of 2nd half comebacks for RSL to salvage tie or win

6 - wins at home during the streak following road losses

5 - largest margin of victory (see below)

4 - number of 3-0 wins, the most common result (also the number of one-goal wins, including 3 1-0 wins)

3 - come-from-behind ties

2 - scoreless draws

1 - more "result" at home to own Major League Soccer's all-time record for home unbeaten streak at 23 games

Biggest Win (margin): 7/2/10 v NE - 5-0

Biggest Win (meaning): 10/24/09 v COL - RSL wins 3-0 on final day of season to force postseason tiebreakers and eliminate Colorado from playoffs for 3rd consecutive season;

Biggest Crowd: 4/10/10 v SEA - 19,970 were on hand as newcomer Álvaro Saborío headed home a Nelson Gonzalez corner kick three minutes into 2nd half stoppage time to salvage a 2-2 draw in RSL's 2010 home opener, a match that included a pre-game banner raising and ring ceremony to commemorate the teams' MLS Cup 2009 win;

Cutting it close: 7/3/09 v SJ - stoppage time OG by Earthquakes' Chris Leitch gives RSL a 1-1 tie;

Best Comeback: 7/24/09 v DAL - 4 second-half goals erase 0-2 halftime deficit; Rimando saves Cunningham PK, Kreis ejected;

Outscored opponents 47-11, with 13 different scorers: (Findley 9, Saborío 8, Movsisyan 5, Espindola 5, Olave 4, Morales 3, Beckerman 2, Williams 2, Grabavoy 2, Johnson, Russell, Campos, Gonzalez, Mathis; 2 own goals received);

Form Guide: the 15-0-7 mark since 6/6/09:

            2009: T W T W W T W T W W

            2010: T W W W W W T W T W W W

I expect that RSL will face a Fire team that realizes that they are at the point where failure to get results every weekend will likely mean they won't make the playoffs.  Their head coach understand that it is now "do or die" time and said so to

For Real Salt Lake a win against Chicago would move them, if only for a few hours, to the top of the Western Conference and to first place in the race for the Supporters' Shield.  The Los Angeles Galaxy will face DC United at the Home Depot Center, while the Columbus Crew will play host to the Seattle Sounders, both matches take place after RSL's early match.  I will of course be cheering for both DC and Seattle, at least for one night.