Real Salt Lake vs. New York Red Bulls - Match Day Edition - Update

So it is at 7:00pm MT that fans will meet at the SE entrance to Rio Tinto Stadium to enter the stadium singing Believe as they march around the concourse and then make their way to their seats to continue singing in support of RSL as the team warms up.

So perhaps nothing has caused more talk about RSL this year than this:

well except maybe Sebastian Velasquez's hair.

RSL head coach Jason Kreis had this to say about the video:

"Everybody is embracing this song," RSL head coach Jason Kreis said after training on Friday. "I'm embracing it, my family's embracing it. Every time I hear it, I get goose bumps. The whole week I've been thinking about what it could be like [on Saturday]."
mlssoccer.com

with almost 60,000 views on youtube, even the mainstream media is talking about the impact of the video:

The chant has the potential to transform the atmosphere at the stadium, on a night when one of the game's greatest players is going to try to pop the RSL balloon.

New York's Thierry Henry scored 209 goals for Arsenal and Barcelona in Europe and played in four World Cups, but he has never beaten RSL.
sltrib.com

more match day thoughts (including some from NYC) about the match:

Yes even the folks at the Viper's Nest (a bastion of all things NYRB) are excited about the match where they are saying things like:

A week ago, if you asked me which of the first two games we had a better chance of winning, I would have chosen FCD hands down. After the opening loss and the 3-1 hurt that RSL put on the defending champs, I have to follow my head and predict a3-0 loss for RBNY. RSL solid talent, the team cohesion, a game plan and Nick Rimando. Best case scenario: Errant Roy Miller backheels lead to two goals and Conor Lade starts the home opener.

and

Unfortunately I feel a massive hammering coming on. I do believe we will be down 2-0 within 20 minutes. I see more disjointed incoherent play with guys RSL beating us to every ball and winning every challenge. Cooper will get one to make it 1-2 but RSL will put the screws to us. Final score NYRB 1-4 RSL. Can't wait for the 25th and a home opener in total chaos and crisis.

While this kind of despair is rare this early in the season, but when their star player has sung the praises of the competition:

"[Real Salt Lake] are far ahead of us," Henry admitted this week. "I've said it for a very long time, they are, with LA, the best team in this league, by a distance. It's not a coincidence that we have not beaten them yet since I'm here. Not a lot of teams beat Salt Lake, especially at their place, so it's going to again be a difficult task."
mlssoccer.com

Well it makes me wonder if the Red Bulls and their fans are trying to lull RSL to sleep with vain compliments, and sugary speech? Then come the guys of mlssoccer.com with their weekly picks, and it is a 7 for 7 sweep of them picking RSL, and I almost feel like we are being jinxed.

To save the day I come back to Jason, who seems to know just what to say to restore confidence in my heart:

"I think we're past making statements," Kreis said. "I think we are very much about doing the right things. We're very much focused on how we feel about ourselves."

So for the home opener, the RSL coach is focused on not letting the success of one game cause his team to lose focus. Instead, he's hoping that they can continue to focus on the little details, and also feed off of the home crowd.

"We're all hopeful that the home crowd is going to be there early and will give us something really special to come out to," Kreis said. "It's always an emotional moment to come out for the first game of a new season."
mlssoccer.com

This is a match you won't want to miss for a lot of reasons, so get your tickets (online or at the RSL ticket office) and if some bizarre reason you can't make it out to the match live (like you are donating a kidney, or you are stuck in Boone, NC) well don't fear you can still enjoy it:

  • TV: ABC4; live on MLS Direct Kick subscription package
  • Radio: ESPN 700 (pre-game coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. MT) & La Gran D 102.3 FM
  • Online: MLS Live, or get live match tweets from @RSLKickOff

Speaking of Twitter; we need to get our beloved RSL trending and I say today use #BelieveRSL in all your tweets.

If you are coming out to Rio Tinto here are a few match day details for you (oh and be there early):

  • RSL fans are urged to buck St. Patrick's Day tradition and "make red the new green" by wearing their claret gear all day long and to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday in order to fill the stands with red against the Red Bulls.
  • The festivities in Sandy will officially begin at 6:00 p.m. MT, when the Carnival Real pre-game festival will open to the public on Rio Tinto Stadium's East Lawn. Highlights of the Opening Night Carnival will include the announcement of the 11 "Win a Dream Kit" contest winners and KBULL's "Jello Jump" stunt.
  • At 7:30 p.m., RSL supporters invite fans to join them at Rio Tinto's Stadium Southeast gate for the start of their "March around The RioT" on the stadium's concourse, leading the charge to be in the stands by the time warm-ups end on the field. Then at 8:00 p.m. it's time kickoff for Real Salt Lake's 2012 home opener against the New York Red Bulls, led by international superstar striker Thierry Henry.

OK that is it for me until we get out to the stadium, so see you there:

OFF MY SOAPBOX

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