I remember way back in, oh, when was it? Late 2008 or early 2009. I was sitting in the front seat of a car, talking to a man named David about soccer (we were on a soccer excursion, playing in several different places in Utah with him and his sons). Somebody brought up Real Salt Lake. He said:
"Real Salt Lake. Now that's a sad team."
I remarked that they had just made the playoffs. I forget what we said after that. But I just find it so funny that, in two years, we've gone from a "sad team" to 90+ minutes away from the best team on the continent. I remember, in that playoff run in 2008, when we were still a "sad team", listening to the radio commentary of RSL v Chivas USA as Morales skillfully beat a player, and excellently beat the keeper to send RSL as high as they've ever gone. Ring a bell?
More after the jump...
In six days, RSL will face Monterrey again, but this time at the Fortress, the Castle, the Riot, the magical kingdom of Never Never Lose (Get it, like Peter Pan?), Rio Tinto Stadium. The stadium is already completely sold out. It will be rocking. As it stated on RSL website, "A soccer game of this magnitude is unprecedented in our soccer community...". Because this is for the Club World Cup, that magical tournament a million miles away in Japan (or has it been moved?), a fact that I'm still trying to wrap my head around.
I'll be at the game, camera at the ready, because something of this history must be recorded and saved. Although it's safe to say that if Monterrey win then I won't be looking at those videos ever again.
But they won't win. They can't. It just wouldn't be right, after everything that's happened, for this sad team to be denied a happy ending.