LEHI, Utah - Professional sports teams throughout North America are no strangers to bulletin-board material.
And for their part, Real Salt Lake are certainly drawing on it for the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Final at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday (10 pm ET, Fox Soccer).
In this case, they are letting the words of los Rayados coach Victor Manuel Vucetich provide the fuel. The Monterrey boss seemed to discredit the efforts of RSL in last Wednesday’s opening 2-2 draw, and claimed that the MLS squad “dirtied up the match.”
“It was a real good game by us,” Vucetich said in his postgame press conference. “We did enough to win the game. We gave the effort. We made the game. We also made a few errors. But nonetheless, it makes me feel good to know how Salt Lake plays.”
“He seems like a genius,” RSL captain Kyle Beckerman told KUTV, the Salt Lake CBS affiliate. “He knows exactly who we are. He knows how to beat us. I don’t know about him.”
Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis also seemed genuinely perturbed.
“This is an area where I prefer to let the actions speak,” Kreis said. “I think that he had a whole lot to say after that game, and in my opinion, way too much.”
Even RSL owner Dave Checketts weighed in on the discussion, telling KUTV: “I don’t take it personal, but I hope our players do.”
“I’ve known a lot of coaches,” Checketts added. “That’s really a boneheaded move to say things to get the other guys riled up. I’m sure that’s what he’s done.”