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.

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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.

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