Real Salt Lake:2009 Champs! My perspective
Alright, I know that I am the French blog guy and I mostly talk about French soccer. And in the last week, all I have been talking about is Henry. But I had to talk about last night’s MLS Cup.
I want to congratulate Real Salt Lake on their victory. They came in as the underdogs and were able to show that any team can beat any powerhouse team on any given day. And I was happy to see the system work. While many people say that it is a shame that a sub .500 team won the MLS Cup, I think that goes with our American spirit of how “anyone can do it”. So, again congrats.
This is a special win for me as well. I attended the University of Utah when Real Salt Lake started as a team. I lived on the U campus when it seemed like Rice Eccles Stadium was being transformed into the home of the 2004 Fiesta Bowl Champions to the home of the newly founded Real Salt Lake team. Wherever you went around town, you saw signs of Real Salt Lake.
Therefore, I was able to grow with the team from the time they announced they were making a bid for the team, to the moment they were awarded their team to the opening day match at Rice Eccles in 2005 (which, or course, I had class). I remember going to their offices all the time across the street from Trolley Square and picking up calendars, key chains and other official gear for the team.
This team has grown with the city, and the city has grown with it. If you go to Salt Lake City, you can tell that the team is a strong part of the character of the city. Everywhere you go, you see Real Salt Lake stuff all around. And the Real Salt Lake supporter have always been there for their team, with 5th highest attendance in MLS, beating out the likes of Columbus, DC United and the Chicago Fire.
So when there was talk about the team leaving if a new stadium wasn’t built in Sandy, it made be quite upset. I would talk to my footfall friends back then saying that moving a team out of Salt Lake City would be horrible. The fans have put so much into that team, and then they were going to just pull the team right out from underneath them? That was wrong, really wrong.
But the debate continued, the stadium was built and Real Salt Lake continued their play in the great state of Utah.
Like I said, this MLS Cup victory couldn’t happen to a better group of supporters. They stuck by their team during many of the bad times. And, today, they can finally stick by them during the good times. I am happy for the State of Utah for getting their first ever professional sport’s championship as well.
While I don’t really watch MLS at all, I was filled emotion when RSL won last night. Honestly, I was choked up. Mostly because I was their when they were born, kind of like a child. And to be with a team from the time they were at the ground level to the time they won the MLS Cup is something purely amazing.
So, again, I know this is a French football blog, but I wanted to say congrats to RSL. I am moving back to Salt Lake in May. Hopefully I will be able to score some season tickets.
I shall wear my Real Salt Lake jersey proudly today!