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FC Dallas eliminates Real Salt Lake to reach Western Conference Final

FC Dallas (Getty Images) 

No team had gone into Rio Tinto Stadium and beaten Real Salt Lake in more than a year, but FC Dallas didn't need a victory to keep its MLS Cup dreams alive.

All FC Dallas needed was a draw after a first-leg victory, so when Dax McCarty scored a first half goal to give the visitors a two-goal cushion, all the pressure went on RSL and the defending MLS Cup champions could not recover.

Even after a dramatic second-half surge, and a Robbie Findley goal to pull RSL to within a goal, Real Salt Lake couldn't beat Kevin Hartman again as FC Dallas held on for a 1-1 tie and 3-2 series vicory on Saturday night.

The win puts FC Dallas into the Western Conference final against the winner of the Los Angeles-Seattle series, which concludes tonight at Home Depot Center. The Galaxy posted a 1-0 victory in the first leg.

Hartman was the star of the show for Dallas, making countless clutch saves. David Ferreira and George John were also stellar for a Dallas side that looked more like the team that rattled off a 19-match unbeaten streak during the regular season.

Here are the match highlights:

What did you think of the match? Disappointed with RSL? Think Dallas can win the title?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Is ANYONE paying attention to the body of work George John has compiled over the last two seasons?

    Ill summarize; DOMINATING.

    He does everything MINUS the errors (mental or technical) yet I’ve never once seen him including in the ubiquitous Opera/Ream/Gonzalez/ debate.!?

    If we want the best USMNT possible then we need to make sure we have the best players competing for the position. He is one of the BEST defenders in MLS. All you have to do is wake from your slumber and WATCH.

    FCD for the Cup!

  2. Yeah I see you. I’m not debating the card, it could have gone either way. Dax got his money worth out of it, though. Although a poor call, Harris got his due to his reputation. Back when he played for RSL, he came in at halftime against Real Madrid in a friendly and earned a straight red for a hideous challenge…

  3. The camera couldn’t see the defender because Brek is over a foot taller than Tony Beltran. Hardly a decisive air battle. Good play none the less.

    Props to Dallas for winning, but I was blown away by the terrible officiating. Dallas wasted time the entire game, and the ref finally decides to pull out a card in the 80th minute? That was crap. I was hoping for some quality soccer from both teams, but instead we got time wasting and a first half of crap. Hopefully RSL doesn’t get pilfered too bad in the expansion draft. CBus and RSL should be good in the CCL.

  4. I still think this year’s RSL team is one of the best MLS teams I’ve ever seen. They are definitely better than last year. Dallas are a great team too, and they made RSL pay for 3 defensive lapses through the series. Hartman made some crazy saves, and in the end RSL just didn’t do enough. It doesn’t change that they are a fantastic team who had a great year. Hats off to Dallas, you put together a good game plan and played it to near perfection.

  5. Where’s the love for Brek Shea? He chested a delicious ball onto Dax’s path right in front the 6 yd box, for the series winner. The camera couldnt even see the RSL defender battling for the ball as Brek completely owned that decisive air battle!

  6. i get your point about embellishing fouls. i agree and disapprove of dax making like he was hit in the face, but again, a high boot to the chest is still a card. sometimes the ref gives those calls sometimes he doesn’t. Harris was shown a straight red for FCD, so its not like the ref was biased to one team

  7. Another slightly disappointed RSL fan…Sloppy play led to all 3 Dallas goals in the series. But I’ll give credit where it’s due. Dallas is a good team. Would love to see em’ pip LA as well.

    A very fun season…

  8. From an RSL fan, I am really bummed that we lost last night, and that we don’t get a chance to repeat.
    However, as a fan of MLS, this years playoffs have been really exciting.
    In the conference finals, 3 of the 4 teams were not even in the playoffs last year. Way better than the other sports in this country, where you pretty much have the same final 4 every single year.


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