LEHI, Utah – The last time Real Salt Lake were at Qwest Field, the lasting image was of Robbie Russell falling to his knees, his head in his hands, as his teammates rushed to meet him at the penalty spot.
It was in Seattle last fall where they won the MLS Cup in exciting penalty-kick fashion. This Thursday, they'll return to the scene of the club's greatest triumph.
Russell said he understands there may be a different atmosphere in the Emerald City this time around.
"When we were there last year, Seattle fans—a lot of them—were on our side," said Russell, who poked home the deciding kick in the championship game. "I don't expect it will be that way this time around."
RSL head coach Jason Kreis is also looking forward to his team's trip to the Pacific Northwest.
"It will always be a special place in our hearts," he admitted after sharing with reporters that the Seattle skyline even graced the screensaver on his laptop.
While not nearly carrying the import of their last match in the city, a victory on Thursday would still be meaningful.
Three points would vault them ahead of Columbus and LA in the Supporters' Shield race. This would also place them first in the Western Conference, giving them the playoff seeding benefits that come along with that.
In addition, a win would give RSL the most league points in team history.