Real Salt Lake didn't have an ideal result last week in Mexico, going down 2-0 to Tigres, but there are still reasons why they should be feeling positive about their chances.
1. Home Sweet Home
Tigres will now have to travel to Sandy mid-week for the 2nd leg of this quarterfinal fixture, and there is a distinct advantage at Rio Tinto compared to many other MLS stadiums: elevation. Tigres showed a pattern in the 2015 Liga MX season to have a hard time scoring goals in higher-elevation stadiums. The three Mexico City-based teams (America, Cruz Azul and UNAM) all held Tigres to a goal or less in their home matches against the Monterrey-based side last season. This will be vital to Real's chances to advancing to the semifinals.
Many of Real Salt Lake's squad have been here before. Flash back to the second leg of the 2013 playoff matchup versus the Los Angeles Galaxy. Down 1-0 on aggregate, Real Salt Lake took its home field advantage to turn the series on its head and easily handle the Galaxy at home in a must-win situation. Coincidentally, five of the starters that brisk fall night will likely play a role versus Tigres as well (Rimando, Wingert, Beltran, Beckerman and Morales). Javier Morales knows the situation and seemed positive about the chances of making up a two-goal deficit: "I think the way we look at the game, we just need to get one goal and we're one away, especially at home I have confidence in this team."
3. Revenge is a dish best served cold
Although the forecast shows favorable weather for all parties at Rio Tinto, there is no doubt the squad will be coming to play with a chip on their shoulder. They have gone through the sickening experiences from the 2011 CONCACAF Champions League final to the 2013 US Open Cup and MLS Cup final, these players, along with the fans have felt the heartbreak. Now that the other team from Monterrey is coming to town, this team won't want to let another chance slip away. The defending Liga MX champions will be without usual starters Jorge Torres Nilo and Rafael Sobis due to yellow card accumulation. Real Salt Lake is down, but far from out. So, if you believe then just stand up on your feet and shout it loud ...