Starting with Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League match against Toronto FC, RSL will play 5 matches in 13 days and the results of these matches will go a long way in determining how our campaign for a couple of really nice trophies will go.
9-15-2010 Real Salt Lake vs. Toronto FC - Champions League - 8PM Fox Soccer Channel
OH the fun and the chaos that is Toronto FC, one unbeatable at home now they are winless in their last 3 there, just one win on the road all season, and today they fire their director of soccer and their head coach. Now they get to hop on a plane and fly to Salt Lake City for a CCL matchup against the the team with a 27 match unbeaten (all competitions) home streak. Just a little pressure on the Red's.
For Salt Lake it is going to be hugely important that they get wins at home in their Champions League matches if they want to advance out of the group stage. Right now each team in Group A has 3 points as every home team has won. RSL would actually lead the group on the number of goals and road goals but a 3 point win over Toronto will ensure that RSL keep their hopes of knockout round play alive.
A more complete match preview will be coming Wednesday morning.
more after the jump:
9-18-2010 Real Salt Lake vs. Chicago Fire - Major League Soccer - 2PM Telefutura
A rare day game at "Castle Real" as the Chicago Fire look to become the first team in 23 attempts to get a win over RSL on their home turf. While RSL may be missing Jaiver Morales, for me the quick key to this match would be if Chicago's Marco Pappa is available. For RSL a win may be the only way they can keep pace with LA, who will face DC United. The top spot in the West may be more important for RSL long term than anything else in MLS action, with their ability to dominate at home, if they can host the Western Conference final, they stand a good chance to make it back to MLS Cup. With both teams nursing a number of injuries, the biggest impact may be made by those who are healthy enough to return to action.
9-22-2010 Real Salt Lake at Arabe Unido - Champions League - 6PM Fox Soccer Channel
While the temptation to send RSL players to Panama with some mats in case the players of Arabe Unido decide to spend as much time laying down at home as they did when they played here in Salt Lake City, I will resist. This is a team that we out match physically and have more talent then, getting a road result in Champions League is the key to getting out of the group stage. For Real Salt Lake there also has to be a bit of a revenge factor for the way that Arabe turned their previous match into a joke, of course I expect that fans in Panama will see things very differently and that this will be a very hostile road match for RSL.
9-25-2010 Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids - Major League Soccer 8PM Fox Soccer Channel
Rocky Mountain Cup, while it may be a trophy that RSL would like to hold onto, the goal this year is much larger and more prestigious. The rivalry between these two side doesn't need any build up, but as the second to last home match for RSL, it is important that RSL get all 3 points. Not only to boost their own race towards the top spot in the Western Conference, not only to keep them in the Supporters' Shield race, but to ensure that the Rapids don't get any point to boost their playoff hopes. Knowing that RSL has been the team each of the last two years to keep Colorado out of the playoffs is a point of pride for the fans of RSL, and we expect the same this year.
9-28-2010 Real Salt Lake at Toronto FC - Champions League - 6PM Fox Soccer Channel
It will be the third time in a month that RSL faces off against TFC and the second match at BMO field in Toronto, where RSL has never found the back of the net. This will be RSL's second to last group stage match of Champions League and a win would take a lot of pressure off them in the tournament but with a lot of schedule congestion you could see RSL put forth a lineup to get some younger guys playing time and some veterans some rest, it will all depend on what happens at Rio Tinto and in Panama.
Yes the 5 matches in October will be important as well but 3 big CCL matches and two of our last 3 home MLS matches hold a lot of influence over how our run for both the CCL and Supporters' Shield will go. The rest of the month of September is going to be a great time to be a RSL fan with 4 matches on FSC it is a chance for the team to reach a larger market and convert some fans.
OFF MY SOAPBOX