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September 28, 2012
Chivas USA need result against RSL to stave off elimination from playoff chase

Rookie Casey Townsend is the only Chivas USA player to score against Real Salt Lake so far this season.
Rookie Casey Townsend is the only Chivas USA player to score against Real Salt Lake so far this season.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Chivas USA returns home to host Real Salt Lake Saturday night (7:30 pm PT, Prime Ticket) at the Home Depot Center in the rubber match of the three-game season series, with each side coming away victorious as the visitor.

Rookie forward Casey Townsend scored his first MLS career goal and the eventual game-winner to give the Goats their first-ever win at Rio Tinto Stadium, 1-0 on March 24. In the June 16 rematch at the HDC, Fabian Espíndola’s two goals propelled RSL to a 3-0 win.

RSL enters Saturday’s match third in the Western Conference, trailing the second-place L.A. Galaxy by virtue of the goals scored tiebreaker and ahead of fourth-place Seattle Sounders FC – which has a game in hand on both RSL and L.A. – by one point. The Claret-and-Cobalt clinched their fifth-straight postseason spot – the longest active streak in MLS – last Saturday by beating the Portland Timbers 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Chivas USA enters Saturday’s match on a down note. The team hasn’t won a game since beating Portland 1-0 on July 28, dropping its last five matches and going 0-8-1 in its last nine. The Goats have been outscored 10-3 in the month of September and shut out for the last 352 minutes after a 1-0 loss to DC United last Sunday. A loss would put them in danger of being eliminated from the playoff chase before the end of the evening.

Robin Fraser will be back behind the Chivas USA bench after serving a two-game suspension while the team was on the road last week.

RSL defender Jamison Olave will be suspended for the match, opening up a spot for Chris Schuler. Javier Morales won last week’s MLS Goal of the Week award for his game-winning free kick against Portland on Saturday. Scoring leader Alvaro Saborio also is expected to return to action after missing a game due to a shoulder injury.

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