RSL (17-11-6) became just the second MLS team to not allow a goal in the first 15 minutes of any regular-season match when it held Vancouver (11-13-10) scoreless before halftime. Houston also accomplished the feat in 2009.
Both offences were listless for much of the half, but stepped up the attack in the closing minutes before halftime. Vancouver had a golden chance to strike first when Alain Rochat put a left-footer perfectly on frame in the 37th minute. RSL keeper Kyle Reynish made a leaping save to deny the goal.
RSL had a near miss of its own in the 38th minute. Alvaro Saborio curled in a left-footer from the left side of the box. Whitecaps keeper Brad Knighton barely tipped the shot away to prevent a goal and set up a well-defended corner kick.
Vancouver blew another chance to take a lead in the 57th minute. Rochat played a through ball perfectly to Darren Mattocks by the left post. Mattocks tapped it in for an apparent goal, but it was waved off because Mattocks was ruled offside.
Salt Lake's best chances came in the 69th minute when Luis Gil could not sneak a right-footer from distance past Knighton and in the 72nd minute when Steele was denied by Knighton after trying to put it in from the centre of the box.
Both teams qualified for the playoffs.