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RSL's loss to Dallas all but ends playoff hopes

Published September 26, 2009 9:48 pm

MLS » Real Salt Lake gets routed 3-0; they must win out and hope other teams lose.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Real Salt Lake's hopes of qualifying for the postseason have been reduced to hoping for a miracle.

Led by former RSL forward Jeff Cunningham's two goals, FC Dallas blanked Real Salt Lake 3-0, all but eliminating RSL from playoff contention.

Cunningham scored in the fifth minute and then again in the 87th in what must have been a satisfying "take that" to RSL coach Jason Kreis, the guy who traded him away.

But the real hurt for RSL is this: Stuck at 34 points for the second straight week -- they also went point-less in last week's loss at Houston -- Real Salt Lake is now reduced to hoping other playoff contenders stumble while they are idle for the next 21/2 weeks. Then RSL will need to win its final three games when it resumes play on Oct. 14 against New York at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Real Salt Lake can thank another lousy start for its demise.

RSL's players resolved to get out of the gate faster after allowing two early goals at Houston. But, in a near-replay of that game, they allowed Cunningham to score just five minutes in, then watched David Arturo Rico Ferreira drive a right-footer in from 12 yards out to make it 2-0 in the 10th minute.

Cunningham's goal in the 87th was merely insult to injury.