Plenty at stake in RSL's finale against Chivas

Sandy, UT ( - Real Salt Lake already have a playoff berth locked up, but there will be plenty on the line when the club closes out its regular season against Chivas USA at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday.

The Claret and Cobalt enter the contest in fourth place in the Western Conference with 53 points, one point back of third-place FC Dallas.

A win for RSL on Wednesday would help the club keep the pressure on Oscar Pareja's men, who close out their regular season against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, in the race to avoid the dreaded play-in game for the postseason.

Salt Lake is coming off of a scoreless draw with Portland, but with the club guaranteed to finish in either third or fourth place, head coach Jeff Cassar has turned his attention to the postseason.

"We're preparing for the playoffs," Cassar said after the draw. "We went to a very difficult place to play and played extremely well. Got a shutout on the road. And if we were to turn around and play at home (in the second leg of a series) in the playoffs, I would take this 10 out of 10 times."

Salt Lake does not control its own destiny in the pursuit of a third-place finish, but Kyle Beckerman is optimistic that the club can make the most of whatever situation.

"We're excited for the playoffs to start," Beckerman said. "Right now, we're looking to see if we can seal up that third-place finish and then go into the playoffs with some strong momentum.

"If it comes to it and we have to play in the (knockout round) game, it doesn't bother me at all. I saw the Galaxy do it in (2012). They played the 4- and-5 game and they went on to win the whole thing. So we know it's possible, but we'd like to stay out of it if we can."

Chives, meanwhile, will simply be playing for pride on Wednesday.

The club is poised to shut up shop at the conclusion of the season, but that has not stopped the Goats from going on a bit of a winning streak in recent weeks.

Chives claimed a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids last time out, bringing the club out of the Western Conference cellar via its second straight league victory.

"We are happy because it's important to close out the season with a good mentality. This is the second win in a row in October, something this franchise hasn't done in a while," said Chivas head coach Wilmer Cabrera. "... We are playing the last games of the season with a good mentality, and hopefully we can continue that way."

Chives and Salt Lake have met twice already this season with the Goats claiming 1-0 wins in both affairs.