Real Salt Lake Ready, Excited To Be In Playoffs

Oct 29, 2018, 4:07 PM | Updated: Oct 30, 2018, 12:31 am
The team rallies around Real Salt Lake forward Jefferson Savarino (7) after he scores one of the 6 ...
The team rallies around Real Salt Lake forward Jefferson Savarino (7) after he scores one of the 6 goals scored as Real Salt Lake hosts the LA Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (Adam Fondren, Deseret News)
(Adam Fondren, Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – Thanks to an upset win by Houston over the LA Galaxy Sunday night, Real Salt Lake is in the MLS playoffs.

It was a beautiful Sunday, recalled RSL head coach Mike Petke when speaking to reporters after training Monday afternoon. He hung out at home, spent time with his kids and oh yeah, saw his team’s playoff hopes hang in the balance, dependent on the outcome of the Houston versus LA Galaxy matchup.

“On a serious note, stress and anxiety,” said Petke. “I’m a control freak, not in a psychotic way but I like to be in control of what happens to me, my team. So yesterday was tough in that regard.”

While hosting his staff and their families at his house, Petke watched the Dynamo shock the Major League Soccer world by defeating LA Galaxy 3-2.

Once the final whistle blew and RSL was guaranteed a spot in the postseason, Petke felt a wave of relief wash over him.

“It felt good because we deserve it,” said Petke. “We deserve it. We had more wins than them (speaking of the Galaxy), I feel we have a better team than them, we’ve played better than them. So to come down to the last day, I think it was justified in my opinion.”

Big Night In Hollywood Ahead

After getting into the postseason by the skin of their teeth, RSL will meet LAFC in the knockout stage of the tournament. LAFC is probably most notable due to the stardom of its owner, comedic actor Will Ferrell.

RSL lost both its matches to LAFC this season, the first was a 5-1 loss at home on March 10th and the other was a 2-0 defeat in Los Angeles on August 15th. It doesn’t matter now as all it takes is one victory on Thursday for RSL to advance to the series round.

While there is pressure for both teams being in a win or go home situation, Petke isn’t letting the pressure get to him.

“I take pride that with these young guys and the ups and downs that we’ve had that we reached our goal, which is to get into the playoffs,” said Petke. “Now whatever pressure that we have, you have to use that as fuel.”

The knockout round match will take place on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. at Banc of California Stadium. It will be broadcast on ESPN2.



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