Real Salt Lake Showcasing The Power Of Belief As Fight For Conference Supremacy Continues
SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake is showcasing the power of belief and momentum as the Western Conference seventh-seed prepares for the Conference Final against Portland.
Real Salt Lake is without an owner, they have an interim manager at the helm, and were pegged to finish towards the bottom of the conference prior to the regular season.
The 2021 Real Salt Lake story begins roughly a week before the final game of the regular season when they hosted San Jose on October 30th at Rio Tinto Stadium. The San Jose fixture followed a heroic 2-1 road victory against FC Dallas where an Albert Rusnák 90th minute winner provided all three points for Real Salt Lake.
However, the club quickly returned to reality when it endured pain and agony on October 30th following a 4-3 loss to San Jose. Then, days later Real Salt Lake was outplayed when they hosted the Portland Timbers.
Interim manager Pablo Mastroeni joined @TomCantHackett immediately following the playoff victory against Sporting Kansas City.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) November 29, 2021
Real Salt Lake and its faithful fanbase were starting to question the immediate future of the club. Although, the sinking feeling was a familiar one. Real Salt Lake has endured more trauma than any club of recent Major League Soccer memory.
But then something changed. It is difficult, almost impossible, to put into words.
Real Salt Lake traveled to Sporting Kansas City on Decision Day where they needed a victory to cement a position in the postseason. Nobody expected Real Salt Lake to pick up a result. Nobody but those that were inside the Real Salt Lake dressing room.
With the final kick of the game, Damir Kreilach scored the game’s only goal. Bedlem followed.
From there, Real Salt Lake has beaten the Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City in single-elimination playoff games.
Very little sense can be made of the last two games.
When Mastroeni or the playing group speaks, they always bring up one word; belief.
“I think if you look outside for any affirmation I think you’re a lost soul,” Mastroeni told Susannah Collins of Major League Soccer seconds after the final whistle against Sporting Kansas City. “I think this group looks from within. Believes in themselves, believes in the plan and more importantly believes in the team.”
Real Salt Lake is fixated on itself. They clearly believe in their abilities as a team and have showcased the fight, mentality, and belief to be just one of four teams remaining in the hunt for the coveted MLS Cup.
The job Mastroeni has done is nothing short of spectacular. He understands people and what it takes to get the most out of his players.
Real Salt Lake does not have the most talented roster, they do not have the most expensive players, but they have belief.
The power of belief has revolutionized a club that was not long ago dealing with the despair of a racist and sexist owner and is now fighting for conference supremacy.
Next Match Info
Real Salt Lake will travel to Portland for the Western Conference Final this upcoming Saturday, December 4th, with kickoff scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
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