SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake returned to training on Wednesday, getting back out on the field following a short break after last Saturday’s 1-0 loss at the Colorado Rapids.
The time off was valuable for RSL, which needed a rest after completing a busy stretch that saw the team play three games in eight days with a midweek jaunt to Costa Rica for CONCACAF Champions League action in the middle.
“It was a long travel schedule with flying to Costa Rica and then heading to Denver so we definitely could’ve used those two days off to get our bodies ready for this next game [at Vancouver],” RSL defender Nat Borchers said after Wednesday’s practice.
The short break also helped RSL mentally, allowing the second-place Claret-and-Cobalt to put things in the proper frame of mind following last week’s losses in Costa Rica and Colorado.
“That’s why you take time off, to keep things in perspective,” Borchers said. “We’ve got such high expectations for this group and it’s such a good group of players that we always expect to win. When we don’t we’re frustrated, we’re getting at each other and that’s part of being on a good team.”
“We’re still in a really good position,” said RSL captain Kyle Beckerman. “There are a lot of teams in worse shape than us, we should be all smiles. We’re out here working hard, that’s what got us the wins and that’s what’s going to keep us from losing, so we just have to keep our heads up, put our chests out and get ready for the next game.”
Several players really took advantage of the time off, taking short vacations to reconnect with family and friends. Borchers and Beckerman – both former Rapids – stayed an extra day in Denver following the Colorado game while goalkeeper Nick Rimando went camping in Utah with his family.
“I think there are definitely times in the season when you have to get away from the game,” Borchers said. “This is one of those times in the season where we were able to get away, focus on our families and friends and get away from soccer.”