SANDY, Utah (AP) — Nick Besler, Sebastian Saucedo and Corey Baird scored in the first 30 minutes for Real Salt Lake, which eased past the New England Revolution 4-1 Thursday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL (14-12-7, 49 points) strengthened its hold on the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference — two points shy of No. 5 Portland, which will host RSL on Sunday, and four points ahead of the No. 7 L.A. Galaxy. New England (9-13-11, 38 points), already eliminated from playoff contention in the East, hasn’t won at Rio Tinto Stadium in seven meetings, going 0-5-2.
Besler scored his first MLS goal in the fourth minute on a sliding finish of Baird’s cross at the end of a counterattack. Saucedo made it 2-0 in the 14th with a rolling finish inside the near post.
Baird, a rookie, scored his eighth goal of the season in the 29th minute with a breakaway shot that froze goalkeeper Brad Knighton. Damir Kreilach scored his 12th goal on a header in the 50th for a 4-0 lead in front of the announced crowd of 19,536.
New England scored its lone goal in the 69th minute on a Kelyn Rowe header. A Revs penalty-kick attempt by Teal Bunbury in the 35th minute was denied by RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
The Revolution will close out the regular season at home Oct.28 against Montreal. Real Salt Lake’s match against Portland will close its season a week earlier than the rest of the MLS teams.
This is an early recap. Check back soon for highlights and photos.