Are you one of the many RSL fans that are "meh" about Saturday's matchup against Puntarenas? Well let me give you a number of reasons why you not only should be showing up, but excited for this match.
Yes I said excited, I know with the World Cup that many of us are distracted, early mornings watching matches, late nights watching any of the matches we missed. When was the last time you got to go out and watch your Real Salt Lake play? 10 days ago when RSL bloodied the nose of the undefeated LA Galaxy and proved that when you talk about the elite teams of MLS, that you better include RSL in that conversation. I shouldn't have to explain this to you but I will with my Top 5 reasons you should be at the match Saturday night.
#5 - The NBA & NHL Playoffs are over
For many sports fans May and June are great months as MLS is in full steam, MLB is starting their season and the NBA and NHL are in playoff mode, while those are all things that can make it easy for sports fans to stay home from matches that look like sleepers on paper, there is the reality that the playoffs are over, the Lakers won and you can go watch some live soccer.
#4 - Time to get away from the TV and get some fresh air
Listen I love the World Cup, I love being able to watch 3 matches every day of the week, but there is a time and a place where stepping away from the screen at home, at work, and even at the pub to go out to Rio Tinto Stadium and smelling the grass, enjoying one of the best soccer stadiums in the US is called for. Saturday is one of those days. Have you seen the forecast? Hello, mid 80's and sunny.
more after the jump:
#3 - Support the team
I have gotten tired of listening to RSL fans complain about being the away fans in matches against teams from Mexico and other areas. Show up, if you have season tickets you already have your tickets paid for. If not, they are as cheap as $14 in the KFC corner. So let's show up in numbers and support the team as they prepare for their upcoming matches in CONCACAF. Yeah, I know you never heard of Puntarenas, but most of us hadn't heard of Motagua, or San Francisco FC either, but both could be in our group Arabe Unido already is. Oh and if you didn't know Puntarenas is a new club much like our Real Salt Lake, they were founded in 2004 and in 2007 made it to the knockout round of the CONCACAF Champions Cup (now Champions League).
The team is taking CONCACAF seriously, with the Open Cup out of the way it will be no time before we are in matches that matter, what better time to show the team that we are behind them? I have heard that RSL will be playing their best 11 players that are healthy, which should mean a lineup of:
DF: Russell, Olave, Borchers, Wingert;
MF: Grabavoy; Johnson, Williams; Morales;
FW: Espíndola, Saborío
#2 - FIFA Club World Cup
Each year the top 6 club teams in the world face off, in a champions of champions tournament. Names like Barcelona, Man United, Liverpool, Milan, Boca Juniors, Sao Paulo, and others have all played in this tournament. It is the chance for any team to prove they are best of the best. Real Salt Lake proved they were the best in MLS last year, now this summer they fight for their place at the top of CONCACAF and if they win, then they will get to battle the best club teams the world has to offer. This warmup match is the start of their journey to the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup.
#1 - It's all about the trophies
I love trophies, RSL brought back the MLS Cup trophy to Salt Lake as the first professional team to win a championship in 40 years, now it is our chance to win the CONCACAF Champions League trophy, something no US team has ever done and I have to say it is a good looking trophy:
Wouldn't you like to have your picture taken with that one? Well if we win that we get to play for this one:
Yes if you win the FIFA Club World Cup, you get that lovely trophy. The journey begins for RSL as they face Puntarenas in a warm up match. That is why it matters.
See you there.
OFF MY SOAPBOX