Real Salt Lake has started this MLS Cup campaign in dominant fashion. They came from a goal down to beat the defending champions, LA Galaxy, 3-1. They dominated the New York Red Bulls for another 90 minutes. The dominating performances have come due to RSL dominating possession. With the ball in their possession it has been just a matter of time before RSL has scored and won each match.
With the victorious start to the season there have been some stand outs on the team. The first player that comes to mind is Chris Schuler. He came onto the RSL scene last year as both Olave and Borchers traded injury time. Currently he is filling in for Borchers who is expected back soon. It must be getting harder to keep him off the pitch with his spectacular defensive play. Another player that has impressed is the rookie Sebastian Velasquez. He hasn’t looked like much of a rookie by helping create a goal in each game. He has played well on the defense end as well. Finally, a player I have liked for a while now is Fabian Espindola. Getting a goal in each game, he simply doesn’t let up on the opposing side. He is a consistent scoring threat, who also plays defense. Espindola is back helping on defense whenever needed. Last Saturday he didn’t only help on defense but came all the way back to stop one of the Red Bulls’ best opportunities. Hustle like that should attract the attention of the Jazz fans in the area that love that kind of effort and determination. But there is more going on that will bring more fans to the RioT cheering on RSL.
Real Salt Lake and the supporters who came up with the anthem as seen above most likely thought that they were channeling the roots of soccer worldwide who have songs and planned chants as well. I would say it is reminiscent of a college fight song. BYU, USU, and Utah fans can identify with the pride that comes from a coordinated team song. I personally love the coordination between all the RSL loyalist groups. So, if you want to go to a match, take a few minutes to learn the anthem.
Along with the exposure that has come from the support of the Anthem, Real Salt Lake has landed an awesome TV deal that I would argue may provide better coverage than the Utah Jazz. An unprecedented amount of games will be broadcasted this year on ABC-4 and CW-30. The great thing about the deal is that the games are not hard to find for those on cable, dish, or the good ol’ rabbit ears, everyone has access to Real Salt Lake.
Now, with an amazing team, a new anthem to rally fans, and more exposure than ever, when are the more standard sports fans going to get on the wagon (I would say bandwagon, but we all know that is a short term thing)? Soon is my hope. There are many sports fans that blame that soccer is too boring to watch. They say, “How can you watch a game that can end 0-0?” I have heard this objection way too many times. However, I also know these fans are being converted to the good side. In talking with these recent converts, it is all about attending a game. So, you unconverted RSL fans, it is time for you to get to a game. Experience the atmosphere, try some of the food (They have the best variety I have seen). You won’t even have to leave your seat because you can order your food via text. Go, have some fun, and watch Real Salt Lake play some championship level soccer, you might just find yourself going back of some more.