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Roldan helps Sounders beat RSL 2-1, clinch playoff spot

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(Mat Hayward/Getty Images for Delta Air Lines)

SEATTLE — Christian Roldan broke a tie in the 31st minute and the Seattle Sounders wrapped up an MLS playoff berth with a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on Sunday in the regular-season finale.

The Sounders (14-14-6, 48 points) made the playoffs for the eighth year in a row. They have never missed the postseason since joining MLS in 2009. Seattle will go in as the West’s No. 4 seed, hosting Sporting Kansas City in a knockout round game Wednesday or Thursday.

Real Salt Lake (12-12-10, 46 points) also got in, thanks to Portland’s 4-1 loss at Vancouver that eliminated the defending champion Timbers. RSL will be the West’s No. 6 seed and visit Los Angeles on Wednesday or Thursday.

Nicolas Lodeiro helped set up Roldan’s goal when he floated a corner kick from the left wing side into the box. Goalkeeper Nick Romando slapped away Roman Torres’ header, but the ball deflected off defender Luke Mulholland, who was standing just to Rimando’s right. It went straight to Roldan, who drilled it in from two yards in front for his fourth of the year.

The teams traded goals in the first four minutes. Alvaro Fernandez gave Seattle the lead in the third, and Mulholland pulled Salt Lake level in the fourth.