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SANDY — There is no doubt any team feeds off the energy of its fans, and Real Salt Lake is no different, especially during playoff time.
“Very excited that during the match our crowd tends to get behind us and certainly lifts us up,” said RSL head Coach Jason Kreis during a radio interview with ESPN 700 Tuesday.
That is, if fans heed Kreis’ request to them.
Kreis joked during the radio interview that Thursday’s second leg against the Seattle Sounders would be kicking off 30 minutes prior to the actual kick off.
Thursday night’s match will kick off at 8 o’clock, but Kreis called for fans to arrive early enough for even the warmups.
“Just tell them it’s at 7:30 so we can get them there early,” Kreis said. “We need them there for the kick off. We need them there even for the warmups to get the guys moving and get them ready and let them know that they are behind us.”
RSL and Seattle played to a scoreless draw last Friday night in the Emerald City, giving the Salt Lake club an almost perfect situation to return home for the second half of the Major League Soccer Western Conference semifinals series.
It's a second half that Kreis said the Salt Lake club will look to approach no differently than it would any other game inside Rio Tinto Stadium. In other words, RSL go out and try to win.
“We feel that we completed half the job, but there’s still a very, very big job to do and that’s to get the result at home,” said Kreis.
“We’re always going after three points at home, so this will be no different for us and we’ll approach this match the same way we do all of our home matches, which is to be very aggressive from the beginning and try to dictate the tempo from Minute 1 all the way to Minute 90.”
The Claret and Cobalt has faced the Sounders four times this year, having only scored one goal against Seattle during those four matches. The Sounders, however, have not hit the back of the Salt Lake club's net this year — yet.
A win Thursday night will put the Claret and Cobalt through to play for the Western Conference championship where it would face the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Kira Terry is a sports writer covering Real Salt Lake for KSL.com. Follow her on Twitter, @kiraterry.