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RSL clinches playoff spot after 0-0 draw

PORTLAND (ABC 4 Sports) - Nick Rimando came up with several big saves down the stretch as Real Salt Lake played the Portland Timbers to a scoreless draw, clinching a spot in the MLS playoffs.
PORTLAND (ABC 4 Sports) - Nick Rimando stopped all four shots on goal and Real Salt Lake salvaged a 0-0 draw against the Portland Timbers.

With the tie, RSL now has 53 points and has effectively clinched a spot in the MLS playoffs. 

This is the 6th straight year Real Salt Lake has qualified for the playoffs, the second longest streak in MLS history.

"I'm generally pleased, really pleased, with the group's efforts tonight," head coach Jason Kreis said. "The intensity that they came out with was spot on and pleased that they put the defensive effort out that we've been talking about for the two weeks since we've had a match."

"It was a big game," said defender Lovel Palmer. "I think probably the biggest of the season. It could be a conference decider. I'm happy and excited that I got to play against my old team. It was a great game and you look forward to playing games like this because as a player you want to play the big games. And I'm just happy that we got a good result and now we go home and just take care of business because we put ourselves in a good position."

Real can still win the Supporters' Shield, but it would take some doing to accomplish that goal. With one match remaining, RSL trails Sporting Kansas City by two points, Portland by one point and is tied with New York.

RSL's offense was shut down against the Timbers, as the team did not get a single shot on frame. But Rimando came up with two huge saves in the stoppage time to preserve the draw.

"It's a step in the right direction, for sure, getting 0-0 on the road," added defender Nat Borchers. "It's been a while since we got a shutout. Nick [Rimando] came up huge for us again, as he always does, and we put ourselves in some good spots to get some chances too."

RSL finishes the regular season Wednesday night at home against Chivas USA.
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