Real Salt Lake's season might be almost entirely over and almost entirely a wash (outside of Champions League!), but there's a perfect opportunity to do something particularly great on Sunday.
No, it's not make the playoffs — that's truly gone now. And it's not 'rescue the season,' because, well, there's nothing left to be rescued, which, well, yeah. That's too bad, but why dwell on it today?
No, instead, we could knock Seattle Sounders out of the playoffs. Maybe — just maybe — that would be something exciting for us. Misery loves company, right? It would take us winning, SKC winning or drawing, and San Jose winning or drawing.
Well, aside from that, there's still plenty of reason to watch.
We've often talked about Seattle evolving into a serious rivalry on the field, and this is another time we get to see that. The bits of nastiness from Osvaldo Alonso — especially in a match with this much pressure for the home side — will make us angry and frustrated and generally want to throw our remotes at our televisions. (Don't do that. Really.)
Let's embrace that. We have this budding rivalry, and the more fiery we are about it, the more fun it could be for us. And that's just as fans — we'll get to see how RSL can embrace the hate and all that.
2. Aiming for 2016
Everyone on the team should be aiming for 2016 at this point. They should be trying to show they have what it takes to contribute at a reformed Real Salt Lake. The expectations will be high, but the opportunities they have will be even greater. Does Luke Mulholland want to stake a claim for a starting spot in 2016? He'll have to show it. Does Jamison Olave want to return? Again, he'll have to demonstrate that.
But some of the younger players will want chances to show that they can make the leap, too. If any of them get a chance to play for the team next year, they'll be looking to show that they're fully capable of it.
3. Last matches for RSL
I don't know anything yet about who's leaving and who's staying, but there's little question about the fact that some people will be leaving. Who will it be? Do you really want to say you didn't see their last match because RSL didn't make the playoffs? I didn't think so.
4. Decision day
The whole hubbub around the final matchday of the season will just be way too much fun. RSL may even have a huge impact (see: point 1) on it, and even if we don't win, watching everyone swing wildly from excitement to disappointment — especially when we won't be among them — will just be a fun spectator sport.