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Title game at home for Real Salt Lake? ‘It starts right from the beginning’
Major League Soccer » It’s all part of MLS playoff overhaul; wild cards also discarded.

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"It’s a terrific rivalry," coach Jason Kreis said. "What we have is two teams that have built their teams completely differently. We’ve built our team with trying to find better-than-average players, put them all together and see if we can’t have an outstanding product. They’ve built their team with world superstars.

"I think it’s an interesting dynamic," he added. "It’s always a competition that I’m up for, because I’m interested in how that all plays out."

At a glance

MLS playoff format

For the first time, the MLS Cup title game will be played at the home of the finalist with the best regular-season record. Previously, it was held at a predetermined site. The game is scheduled for Dec. 1 this season. The league also eliminated “wild-card” playoff berths; now, the top-five teams in each conference will qualify for the postseason. The fourth- and fifth-place teams in each conference will play a single knockout game, but the next two rounds — conference semifinals and finals — both will be two-game, aggregate-goals series leading to the single game MLS Cup final.

RSL at L.A. Galaxy

At the Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.)

Kickoff » 8:30 p.m. MST

TV » Ch. 4

Radio » 700 AM, 1600 AM, 106.1 FM

Records » First game

Regular season series » Tied, 7-7-5

Last meeting » Los Angeles, 3-1 (Nov. 6, 2011)

About RSL » It’s 2-2-3 all-time in MLS season openers, with wins coming at San Jose in each of the past two years. … It finished 15-11-8 last season, in third place in the MLS Western Conference. … Forward Álvaro Saborío, midfielders Javier Morales and Will Johnson, and defender Nat Borchers are not expected to start while recovering from offseason surgeries. Saborío and Morales could be available off the bench, though. … It has lost its past three road meetings with the Galaxy, counting last season’s playoff exit.

About the Galaxy » Riding an 18-game regular-season home unbeaten streak, they will raise a championship banner before the game. … They won their second straight Supporters Shield regular-season title last season with a 19-5-10 record.

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