So over the last few Champions league matches I have posted quotes and links to some of the better pieces of content being created out there about the match. Today is no exception as the level of attention has never been higher than in tonight's match that many are calling the biggest match in MLS history:
The coverage is everywhere, here is a quote from boston.com
Real Salt Lake fans are set to serenade their team Wednesday night when it plays four-time Mexican League champion Monterrey in the second leg of a home-and-home CONCACAF Champions League finals.
Granted, this is not Manchester United vs. Real Madrid. But if RSL can hold its own again against Monterrey, it will get a chance in December to prove itself on the world stage.
Ives offers up the following via msn.foxsports.com:
When Real Salt Lake takes the field at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday night in the CONCACAF Champions League Final (10 p.m. ET, FOXSoccer Channel), the best team in Major League Soccer will be playing for more than a championship trophy. RSL will be playing for its place in American soccer history and playing for the pride of a league.
much more after the jump:
So when you get JP Dellacamera, Kyle Martino and Christian Miles all talking about the RSL match tonight online it is sure to be entertaining:
Q. Guys, first: Just how big a game is this not only for the club, but for the league?
JP: Outside of MLS Cup, I would say that this is the biggest game RSL has played in their franchise history. If they get the right result on Wednesday, they're in the Club World Cup, with the best teams in the world. That is a place where MLS really hasn't gone before, so they can be trailblazers.
CHRISTIAN: This game is massive for MLS. It's probably the biggest game that the league has ever seen, and winning this would literally put the league on the map. It also has the added flavor of USA v. Mexico, but the psychological implications of the game are even greater. Getting to the CWC is the next step that MLS has to take to gain international legitimacy. People overseas don't think that Americans take this sport seriously, and as a result don't always take MLS as seriously as they should. Getting to Japan would be a massive step towards changing that.
KYLE: Yeah, I agree. This is a huge game for them. Having an MLS team at the Club World Cup would be a historic and unbelievable statement from RSL, and might solidify a place for them as the best MLS team of all time.
of course some of the best coverage is coming from out local guys, like the SL Trib's Michael C. Lewis:
But coach Jason Kreis and his Real Salt Lake players insist they won't be playing defensively when they meet Monterrey in the decisive second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League finals at sold-out Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday night - even though a 0-0 or 1-1 draw would deliver the championship trophy.
"If there's one thing we've told our group from the beginning of moving into this stadium, we are always after three points at home," Kreis said after a final training session that featured snow flurries Tuesday. And "that's no different" against Monterrey. "We're after three points."
and James Edward of the Deseret News:
There's more than just a trophy at stake tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium.
There's an opportunity to potentially meet one of the big boys - most notably, the European champion.
The winner of tonight's Champions League finale between Real Salt Lake and Monterrey qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan this Dec. 8-18.
Bill Riley offers up some thoughts via DN as well:
Let's start with this: Tonight's match at Rio Tinto Stadium is the biggest sporting event to take place in the state of Utah since the world descended on Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Let that sink in for just a minute, the biggest sporting event is a soccer game. Not the Jazz. Not Utah or BYU football or basketball, but a soccer match between Real Salt Lake and Mexican Champion Monterrey FC.
I am sure I will find more things as the day goes along and provide some updates, if you have a great link add it in comments or email it to me.
OK, lots of coverage coming out:
Big Apple Soccer talks to Chris Wingert about the match:
Wingert, a Babylon, N.Y. native, realized what winning the title would mean.
"As a player, as a team we're trying to focus on what we need to get the result on Wednesday," Wingert said by telephone from Utah. "I think because of the average American fan, while we're winning, it's helping people learn what this tournament means and what a big deal it is. If there wasn't an MLS team in the tournament, a lot of less people would understand how big a deal this tournament is.
CJ Brown talked with Soccer America about Andy Williams:
"What killed me is that I thought he was older than me, but I guess not," said Brown, who ended a 13-year playing career with the Fire last October and early this year replaced Robin Fraser as an assistant coach to Jason Kreis.
"He's been playing forever. And he doesn't look old, he's doing his job, he's out there working hard. He's creating goals, he's taking fouls, he's winning balls, he's running around. He's ageless right now."
Simon Borg has been in Salt Lake for a couple days covering the team and he offers up this:
It's been 37 matches and over two years since RSL have tasted defeat on their home field. On Tuesday, they put in the final training session on the game field ahead of Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League second leg against Mexican champions Monterrey (10 pm ET, Fox Soccer and TeleFutura).
"Guys have been loose and relaxed and feeling confident for many, many weeks," Salt Lake manager Jason Kreis said. "So it's no surprise to me."
For the second straight day, the team focused on possession and quick passing drills. RSL coaches and players continued to emphasize that it was this facet of the game that will prove the most critical against Monterrey on Wednesday.
Even I got into the act a bit as I was part of an article Amy Donaldson did for Deseret News:
here is another benefit to winning on an international stage - casual fans start to pay attention. Denzel Eslinger started a blog about the sport and Real Salt Lake (rslsoapbox.com) years ago, in an effort to offer hungry fans in-depth and positive information when a lot of the chatter was controversial and negative.
"Soccer is not only a great sport," said Denzel Eslinger. "Soccer and the MLS are great experiences."
Television doesn't always capture the essence of the game.
"Soccer is such a live and vibrant thing," said Eslinger. "There is an energy that happens for those 90 minutes on the pitch."
one of my fellow SB Nation writers isn't on the #MLS4RSL bandwagon:
Real Salt Lake take on Monterrey tonight for a chance at winning the CONCACAF Champions Cup. If you are on Twitter and a fan of any American soccer, you will likely see the hashtag #MLS4RSL. One of our authors posted a story and used that hashtag even. I wasn't happy. I don't understand why anyone but Real Salt Lake fans want to see RSL win. I hope they lose... terribly.
OK that is it for the updates for now. Enjoy
OFF MY SOAPBOX