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Insights from Real Salt Lake players, coach ahead of big match against Portland Timbers

Real Salt Lake has a big match tonight, and we talked to a handful of players about their preparations.

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

With a match tonight against Portland, Real Salt Lake has been pushed into a difficult situation — of course, they themselves did much of the pushing, but that's another story for another day.

In preparation for the big game, I talked to a handful of folks at the club to get their feelings.

RSL coach Jeff Cassar on preparing for the match

"I think it’s not adding pressure to the players — they know the situation — but asking for sharpness and intensity in training, but not keeping it too long, just nice and tense and short and sharp. It’s been that way for the last couple weeks now. Then, concentrate on the little things. Get up and make sure we’re focused on every deadball situation, making sure we’re reacting positively to turnovers, and all the little things that lead to big things."

Tony Beltran on facing Portland's wingers

Overall, I feel like we match up very well against Portland. They have some very dangerous wingers, and Nagbe and Valeri are special players. We’ve done our homework and we’ll stay organized, and I’ll put our attack against theirs. We’re probably going to come out, put pressure on them early, and hopefully catch them on the back foot and get an early goal.

Jordan Allen on opportunities in front of him

It’s just another opportunity. The only pressure I feel is the pressure that I put on myself to perform, but really, I’m focusing mostly on what I can do to help the team, because at this point, it’s more about what I can do to help the team than what I can do to help myself. We’re in a position when we need to win, and that’s most important.

Kyle Beckerman on making the playoffs in a rebuilding year

We’ve been rebuilding all year. If we can do a rebuilding year and make the playoffs, it’s great. We’re just trying to stay competitive. We’re kind of in unfamiliar territory for a lot of us now, so we want to try and salvage this, see if we can get in the playoffs, then see if we can make a run. Really, we’re trying to build something that can be used for a long time like we did before. It takes some time, and it’ll take some gelling, take some wins and that winning mentality for that to really come together, but we’re getting there.

Beckerman quotes via RSL Communications; others from interviews on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015