Welcome to the RSL Cup blog

I've been a fan of Real Salt Lake since it joined MLS and took to the field in 2005, and I've been a fan of MLS since it began in 1996. Lately however I've started to worry about the path MLS is taking and the poor decisions they are making that in my mind threaten the growth of soccer as a whole in the US. (see "Columbus conspiracy" section) Soccer in America will grow only when we have a vibrant and diverse minor league system, something that MLS seems to be smothering at the moment. (see "American soccer wars" section) Let's keep our eyes on the situation and hope for the best, a future where grass-roots soccer and the minor leagues can not only exist but flourish, as well as where the contributions and history of the league's early clubs are appreciated and preserved.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Gotta be the worst hair ever by an RSL'er.

Part mohawk, part mullet, part bleach.

Tifo fail

Who's Is Your Daddy.

Who is this Mr. Who's?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

RSL and the US Open Cup

"We are about this close to caring."

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Now those are supporters

DC United's Barra Brava waits out the rain while others seek refuge.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

5 MLS teams in Champions League

(espn.go.com 6-5-12)

MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy and four other league teams will play in the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League.

The group stage draw was held Tuesday, with each of the MLS teams in different groups. The stage begins July 31.

The Galaxy are in with Isidro Metapan of El Salvador, and a Caribbean qualifier yet to be determined. Toronto FC goes against Champions League runner-up Santos of Mexico and CD Aguila (El Salvador).

Real Salt Lake takes on Herediano (Costa Rica) and Tauro (Panama).


The Houston Dynamo are in with Olimpia (Honduras) and FAS (El Salvador). The Seattle Sounders get Marathon (Honduras) and a Caribbean qualifier.

Defending champion Monterrey of Mexico is in Group 7 with Chorrillo (Panama) and Municipal (Guatemala).

Garth Lagerwey sees pros, cons in team's CONCACAF pairing

(by James Edwards deseretnews.com 6-5-12)

Real Salt Lake has been paired with Costa Rica champion Herediano and Panama's Tauro FC for group play of the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League.

The random draw was held at the CONCACAF offices in New York City on Tuesday morning.

RSL will play both teams twice, home and away. The specific dates will be released within a few weeks, but CCL play begins July 31 and continues through Oct. 26. The quarterfinals begin on March 15, 2013.

According to Real Salt Lake general manager Garth Lagerwey, there are pros and cons to the draw.

He views the pros as the location of the road matches. In Champions League group play two years ago RSL played road games in Panama and Costa Rica, and Lagerwey believes that familiarity will help this time around. He believes the cons are the quality of the opposition.

"In terms of the competition level, those teams are both quite good, so in that sense it will be quite difficult," said Lagerwey.

The format of the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League has been tweaked slightly, even though 24 teams from the region still qualify as in years past.

Instead of initially having 16 teams paired up in a mini home-and-away knockout round, which then led to four groups of four teams, this year all 24 teams qualify for group play and will be divided into eight groups of three.

This means two less group games for those participating, but also means the only way to advance to the quarterfinals is to win your group.

"Your margin for error is greatly reduced, you really have to try and win all four games," said Lagerwey. "You're going to have to be very, very good to advance."

Two years ago, Real Salt Lake was paired in a group with Cruz Azul (Mexico), Arabe Unido (Panama) and Toronto FC (MLS), and it became the first MLS team to ever win its group. It ended up advancing to the Champions League final only to lose 3-2 on aggregate to Monterrey (Mexico)

After failing to qualify for the 2011-2012 Champions League, Lagerwey said the whole organization is excited for another chance to try and win the North American club championship.

"It's one of the primary reasons we kept our team together to try and make one more run to try and win the tournament," said Lagerwey.

Fourteen games into the 2012 MLS season, Real Salt Lake owns the best record in the league at 9-3-2. It's in the midst of a two-week break from league play because of World Cup qualifying, and doesn't return to action until June 16.

Monday, June 4, 2012

RSL's 2012 US Open Cup

Date - May 29th, 2012
Round -
Opponent - Minnesota Stars FC
Stadium - Rio Tinto Stadium
Score - Minnesota 3 - RSL 1

Minnesota Stars stun RSL 3-1 in the U.S. Open Cup

(by Kira Terry ksl.com 5-30-12)

Despite high fan support, Real Salt Lake fell and was eliminated from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Tuesday night as the Minnesota Stars notched a 3-1 win against RSL inside Rio Tinto Stadium.

“From Minute 1 to Minute 90 it looked like their team wanted it more than we did and we’ve been preaching the same message to our team for many, many years now, which is if they aren’t going to be fully committed to the game they will not get results. And tonight they came in about 75 percent and thought that was going to be good enough and it clearly was not,” said RSL coach Jason Kreis.

A whopping 17,212 fans came out to support RSL, but they didn’t see the same spirited play they saw just three days earlier when RSL took a stoppage-time win from MLS opponent FC Dallas.

“They just wanted to win more than we did, which is embarrassing,” said Kreis. “And I think we owe a debt of gratitude and apology to first and foremost our ownership and to the management for pulling strings and working extremely hard to get the match here. And we owe an apology to our fans because that was a terrific crowd tonight for an Open Cup match and we let them down miserably.”

RSL knew Minnesota would come hungry, but Kreis didn’t expect the effort level he saw in his roster. “At the end of it all I think the score is fair because the effort just wasn’t good enough,” said Kreis.

Minnesota head coach Manny Lagos on the other hand was nothing but proud of his squad and what it did inside Rio Tinto Stadium Tuesday night. He said the psychological side of a lower-level team playing a higher-level team did not sway his group.

“There is a psychological side to a lower-level team playing a higher-level team —there’s no doubt about it,” said Lagos. “I can’t be more proud of the guys because we came into an environment that is very difficult to play where (RSL) usually dictates the tempo and I thought our guys did a good job of embracing the moment but not overthinking or analyzing it and really trying to enjoy it and push the game. And that’s a nice feeling because this is a tough place to play so it was nice to see the guys really put themselves out there.”

With four RSL regulars missing due to international duty and another called up earlier Tuesday, the RSL Starting 11 looked quite different Tuesday night with many young players.

However, they didn’t mesh well.

“There’s a complete different mix of players here that need to prove every day that they can help this team win so we have to see it from top guys all the way down to the guys that are depth,” said RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy.

RSL will remain on MLS break for another two-and-a-half weeks until returning to action at the Home Depot Center June 16 against Chivas USA. RSL will then return to Rio Tinto to host the L.A. Galaxy on June 20.