Stakes Never Been Higher As Real Salt Lake Awaits Minnesota United FC
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The anticipation is building ahead of Real Salt Lakes’ opening game of the 2021 MLS season and the players are at the forefront of the excitement building.
Now Or Never?
A lot has transpired at RSL over the previous year, unfortunately, the club has dealt with scandal and disappointment. The club is still without an owner, the environment within the organization is still mending but the upcoming MLS season could offer some relief.
The short history of RSL is proud. Historically, RSL has been well respected and regarded as one of the premier MLS clubs within the competition, but their reputation has been battered and bruised. The fan base is dwindling and the club is adamant to put on a show in 2021.
Despite the agony and suffering, RSL’s front office, coaching staff, players, and executives have been hard at work preparing for the 2021 season. Attacking additions including Anderson Julio, Rubio Rubin, and Bobby Wood has reinvigorated the faithful, and suddenly the optimism has returned for RSL despite recent struggles both on and off the pitch.
“The importance of depth becomes even more important when there is quality behind it,” Manager Freddy Juarez said.
During any long and grueling season, injuries are inevitable. Knowing when to rest players also becomes very important, which is why Juarez is so excited to see the entirety of his roster this season. Andrew Brody at right-back has made an impact this off-season and will likely see minutes when Aaron Herrera needs rest.
Big Money, High Stakes
This year, the stakes are at an all-time high for RSL. A winning season and a playoff birth could help the quest for new ownership easier and more appealing, the job security and trust in Manager Freddy Juarez and his staff would solidify and the fanbase would slowly drift back into the hallowed grounds of Rio Tinto Stadium.
A losing season, however, and the club would likely struggle to find ownership, the job security of the coaching staff and front office would be in jeopardy and the club would continue to drain money with fewer and fewer fans in attendance of games.
“If anything I am just excited to put last season behind us and to start this season on a level playing field,” center-back Justen Glad said. “The disappointment from last year certainly made the playing group stronger and brought us closer together,” he added.
The playing group, despite never admitting to it, must feel a certain level of pressure to perform. The stakes have never been higher.
RSL is scheduled to take on Minnesota United away from home on Saturday, April 24 at 6 p.m. The match can be streamed for free on the KSL 5 TV App or on KSLSports.com.