RSL hosts D.C. United in the 100th U.S. Open Cup Final at Rio Tinto Stadium. The winner gets an automatic bid to CONCACAF Champions League, so the team is feeling a bit of pressure.
"There's a little bit of edge of nerves in the group," said head coach Jason Kreis. "You know it's a one-off match, you know that there's some large prize at stake, so it feels a little bit nervy at the moment."
"Some players only get to the Cup Finals only once in their career," added defender Nat Borchers. "You really have to relish the moment. Especially being able to play it at home is fantastic. It's very exciting and it's going to be a lot of fun for us."
D.C. United has had a disastrous MLS season, going 3-21-6. But one of those victories was over RSL back in March, and this is a team playing for its season right now.
"This is a dangerous team," said captain Kyle Beckerman. "I think they have really good players and just haven't been able to get it together. For whatever reason it's just not working for them in MLS season, but it has been working for them in Open Cup."
"I know they beat us when we went to their place," said Borchers. "I know they have some dangerous players."
"Often times when you have a team that's going through a disappointing spell, you look at a tournament like this and say, 'If we can just give a collective best for this one game and give everything we can, then it will end up meaning something and walk away from the season with something special,'" said Kreis. "The interesting part is I think we've done a pretty good job of saying this is the most important game for us as well."
After a very satisfying 1-0 victory over Vancouver on Saturday with basically its second team, RSL is well-rested, confident, but is not ready to celebrate just yet.
"The message for me is that we don't ever take anything for granted," Kreis said. "We cannot walk into this game assuming that we're going to be walking out with a trophy."
RSL and D.C. United play for the U.S. Open Cup title Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.