If Real Salt Lake has made it’s mark on Major League Soccer over the last five years, it’s one of Title Contenders. Since it’s first shot at a title in the newly minted Rio Tinto Stadium on November 15th, 2008 (a 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls), the squad has been in an impressive nine matches that were for a title. The 2013 MLS Cup in Kansas City will make number 10.
“I would like to at some point sit down and add up the number of finals this team’s been in,” commented Coach Jason Kreis after a robust training session today, the teams first training session held in December. “It’s been a lot. Conference finals, Open Cup final, Concacaf Champions League final, MLS Cup finals – I mean, we’ve put ourselves in some really, really good places, and we’ve been really consistently competitive to give ourselves chances to win championships. That says something.”
Because of home and away legs, that means that the MLS Cup contest in Kansas City will be the 8th attempt at a title during that stretch. To this point they’ve captured three of those – an Eastern Conference Title and MLS Cup Title in 2009 and now a Western Conference Title in 2013. On Saturday, they’ll hope to capture their fourth title in eight tries.
|11/15/2008||Western Conf. Title||NYRB||Rio Tinto Stadium||L|
|11/14/2009||Eastern Conf. Title||@CHI||Toyota Park||W|
|11/22/2009||MLS Cup Title||LAG||Qwest Field||W|
|4/20/2011||CCL, Leg 1||Monterrey||Estadio Tecnológico||D|
|4/27/2011||CCL Title, Leg 2||Monterrey||Rio Tinto Stadium||L|
|11/6/2011||Western Conf. Title||LAG||Home Depot Center||L|
|11/10/2013||Western Conf.Title, Leg 1||POR||Rio Tinto Stadium||W|
|11/24/2013||Western Conf.Title, Leg 2||POR||Jeld-Wen Field||W|
|10/1/2013||US Open Cup Title||DCU||Rio Tinto Stadium||L|
|12/7/2013||MLS Cup Title||SKC||Sporting Park|
A win in this one would really represent a turn-around for a club that was beginning to feel a bit cursed after losing the US Open Cup Title at home a couple of months ago to DC United. Of those title chances, they’ve lost all three held on their home field, Rio Tinto Stadium. All three victories to this point have come on the road. In fact, they’ve only lost one such chance away from home – the 2011 Western Conference Title against the LA Galaxy at Home Depot Center (now StubHub Center).
“Obviously we haven’t won as many as we’d like,” admitted Kreis, “but we’ve still got one more chance this year. We’ll give it everything we have.”