"Tuesday is the most important game, and I said that a month ago, so I think I'm maintaining a consistent message," said head coach Jason Kreis. "That's a huge, huge match for this club and that's the way we have to look at it."
RSL hosts D.C. United Tuesday night for the U.S. Open Cup championship and an automatic bid to the CONCACAF Champions League tournament next year. But before that, RSL has an MLS match to play on the road Saturday in Vancouver.
"We all know that Tuesday is thee upcoming game," said defender Tony Beltran. "If we get a 'W' there, then we have successfully won a trophy this year and that's what we want. So, we're going to keep that in the back of our minds, but obviously, especially considering the last two games and last two negative results, we want to get better on Saturday."
RSL may rest most of its regular starters against Vancouver, but this match is still important. It's the chance the snap a 2-game losing skid and keep their hopes alive for the Supporters' Shield. RSL, which is coming off consecutive losses to Seattle and San Jose, has fallen out of first place and trails league leader New York by three points for the best overall record. In its last ten MLS matches, RSL has a record of 3-5-2.
"We've had our ups and downs for sure this year," said Kreis. "But there has been prior years where there has been all ups, and then we get to the playoffs and let ourselves down. I think there is one thing to be said about losing and going through some difficult times. It reminds you how it feels when you win, and it also reminds you how hard you have to work to win."
"We're holding together just fine," added defender Chris Wingert. "We'll be alright. Obviously we're bummed that we haven't gotten the results the past two weekends. Anytime you've been doing real well for a while and hit a little bump in the road with a couple losses, there is certainly some concern."
With four MLS matches left, the Supporters' Shield is probably a long shot, but the team not only wants to get the best possible seed for the playoffs, but wants to clinch a spot as soon as possible.
"Our playoff lives aren't secure," said Kreis. "We need more points. I don't feel like if we sit where we're at right now that we're going to make the playoffs, so we need points and we need them in the worst way."
Real Salt Lake and Vancouver will battle it out Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in a game that will be televised on CW30.