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RSL takes first half of semifinal stint

RSL takes first half of semifinal stint

By Kira Terry, KSL.com Contributor | Posted - Oct. 30, 2011 at 4:18 p.m.



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SANDY - You could feel the energy at Rio Tinto Saturday night as Real Salt Lake took the first leg (3-0) of their two-game semifinal stint with Western Conference opponent the Seattle Sounders in front of a very energetic crowd.

RSL's sideline boss Jason Kreis credited the energy to the fans that, despite the cold temperatures, filled the stadium before the first kick Saturday night.

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"I thought our spirit was really, really good and I'll tell you what, that's a credit to the crowd. I think that that crowd noise and that energy, that positive spirit was given to us by the crowd and I'm very, very thankful for that. The energy was perfect," said Kreis.

Tonight's match with Seattle was only the beginning of the playoffs for RSL and Wednesday will tell the fate of them advancing further.

"Obviously we're very, very pleased with the result, we're very, very pleased what the guys put into the match," said Kreis. "There's another match at Seattle and we know how difficult it is to play there and we're going to need 90 more minutes of very committed soccer to make sure we advance this round."

RSL's back man, goalkeeper Nick Rimando, agreed with his boss that even with the win, they've still got work to do next week before they can get excited about advancing.


"We have a little indication tonight, a small indication, that perhaps that all of this adversity we have faced has put us in a good place, but that's only the first step and there is three more steps to take," said Kreis.

"We knew that we could come out and play well and I think that we've all played in Seattle before and we know what it takes to win there, but I think that this gives us some confidence for sure," said Rimando. "We've got to make sure we go in there and organize and play and again team defense and go out there to win - we can't go out there and try to tie the game or sit back ‘cause Seattle's has a lot of weapons and they could make us pay."

With all of the adversity RSL has faced this season with constant injury, call-ups and rocky weeks, Kreis couldn't have been more proud of his team and what they did on the field Saturday night.

"We're all going to walk away from here, I think, feeling real good about the soccer that was played and the passes and the effective passing, but I'm going to walk away feeling very, very proud of what the guys put into it defensively and we know inside our locker room that our attacking abilities and our pretty soccer comes from working hard together defensively to win the ball back in the right spots," said Kreis.

Their hard work may have paid off Saturday night at home, but Kreis made clear that they've still got a long way to go.

"We have a little indication tonight, a small indication, that perhaps that all of this adversity we have faced has put us in a good place, but that's only the first step and there is three more steps to take," said Kreis.

Kries was able to put his strongest eleven back on the field together against the Sounders for the first time in a long time.

"It's pleasing to be able to put that group out there and they seemed to have picked up where they left off," said Kreis.

RSL and the Sounders will conclude their semifinal stint on Wednesday in the Emerald City.

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Kira Terry

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