What Does Path To MLS Cup Look Like For Real Salt Lake?

Oct 24, 2023, 12:04 PM | Updated: Oct 25, 2023, 12:59 pm


RSL's Chicho Arango vs. Seattle on July 22, 2023 (Courtesy of Real Salt Lake)

(Courtesy of Real Salt Lake)

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake heads into the MLS Cup Playoffs as the fifth seed in the Western Conference.

What does the path to the top look like as RSL attempts to win the second championship in franchise history?

Round One – RSL vs. Houston

The four-seed versus five-seed matchup is supposed to be one of the most even series in the first round.

Real Salt Lake got a tough draw for the first round with the Houston Dynamo.

In three games played against the Dynamo this year, RSL is winless with one draw and two losses.

Real and Houston most recently played back-to-back games in August. One in MLS play and the other in the U.S. Open Cup.

Houston outscored RSL 6-1 in those games.

RELATED: Real Salt Lake Drops To Houston Dynamo In Return To MLS Play

If RSL can upset Houston, the following rounds don’t get any easier.

Round Two

The winner of the wild card game between Sporting KC and San Jose will go on to play the one-seed St. Louis in the first round.

If RSL advances, they will play one of those three teams in round two.

Like the wildcard teams, Real is hoping for an upset. But, RSL has proven that they can beat St. Louis this season.

They played twice this season and went 1-1. The first game was rough as St. Louis came into Utah and beat RSL 4-0.

In June, Real walked into Missouri and left with a 3-1 win.

Does Real Salt Lake matchup better against the City than they do the Dynamo?

Round Three

There are four potential teams that RSL could play in the conference finals if they make it there.

Those teams are LAFC, Vancouver, Seattle, and Dallas.

Of that group, RSL has played the best against the Whitecaps and the worst against LAFC.

Real is 0-2 against Dallas and 1-1-1 against the Sounders.

The MLS Cup

If Real Salt Lake can defy the odds and make their way through the west, their final challenge will come on the biggest stage.

They would face the best of what the East has to offer. Can RSL put together a championship run as the fifth seed?

How To Watch Real Salt Lake

All Major League Soccer games are broadcasted on Apple TV with MLS Season Pass.

All Real Salt Lake English-language radio coverage for the 2023 season and beyond will be carried on various KSL radio signals. KSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM/1280 AM) and KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM / 1160 AM) are both stations under the Bonneville International umbrella.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports.Β 

Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

Take us with you, wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

  • Real Salt Lake Leaders

  • Real Salt Lake Standings

Real Salt Lake

Matt Crooks Real Salt Lake RSL...

Brian Preece

Real Salt Lake Escapes With Draw Against West Leading LAFC

It wasn't without some intense moments, but Real Salt Lake stole a road point from LAFC in the 1-1 draw at BMO Stadium.Β 

1 day ago

Brayan Vera RSL...

Brian Preece

Brayan Vera Scores Real Salt Lake Equalizer Late In First Half

A free kick and an LAFC deflection allowed Brayan Vera to score Real Salt Lake's first goal of the match, knotting things at one in the 33rd minute.

1 day ago


Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Star Chicho Arango To Serve Four-Game Suspension

RSL forward Chicho Arango will serve a four-game suspension for violating the MLS Anti-Harassment Policy, the club announced on Monday.

3 days ago

Chicho Arango Real Salt Lake RSL LA Galaxy...

Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Faces Two Crucial MLS Matchups Prior To Leagues Cup

The 2024 Leagues Cup is around the corner but Real Salt Lake has to keep its focus on the MLS season with two big matchups on tap.

4 days ago

Andres Gomez Real Salt Lake RSL Seattle Sounders FC...

Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Road Unbeaten Streak Comes To An End In Portland

Real Salt Lake had its road unbeaten streak snapped in Providence Park as they fell to the Portland Timbers FC, 3-0.

5 days ago


Chandler Holt

Real Salt Lake Looks To Keep Good Road Form Against Portland Timbers

Real Salt Lake travels north for a matchup against the Portland Timbers FC. Real looks to stay undefeated in July against a west rival.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

What Does Path To MLS Cup Look Like For Real Salt Lake?