After a busy month of May, Real Salt Lake views its match Sunday afternoon against the Colorado Rapids as an opportunity to start the next stretch of games on a positive note. With six of the club’s next eight regular season matches over the next two months at Rio Tinto Stadium, it’s a chance for RSL to make a move up the standings if the Claret-and-Cobalt can maintain its solid home form.
RSL closed out an otherwise promising month with two losses to the LA Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps FC in four days. With both matches coming on the road against difficult opponents, it was a tough proposition to come out with many points, but such are the expectations in the Salt Lake locker room.
“Right now we’re having a difficult time closing out games but I think we’re still learning and we’re growing. We’re going to take the negatives and try turn them into positives,” midfielder John Stertzer said. “We’ve done a good job each time we’ve had a tough result of bouncing back, so hopefully we’ll be able to do that this week. We’ve got a great opportunity at home on Sunday.”
Despite two straight defeats, Head Coach Jeff Cassar has been encouraged by the play on the field.
“I think our last two performances are promising. The results weren’t, but the performances were promising,” Cassar said. “We still have a ways to go, but if we can make a strong push here with these games at home, that’s where you really start to make jumps in the league is taking care of business at home.”
Added midfielder Luke Mulholland, “The last month or so we’ve started to play better soccer. The goals will come. The wins will come. I think we’ll be able to get into a good routine playing at home. Now we can start pushing towards hitting a good peak in June and July. Right now our concern is climbing up the ladder.”
In addition to playing six of the next eight matches at home, four of those six home games are against Western Conference foes, giving RSL even more opportunity to gain ground in the ultra-competitive division.
Kickoff for Sunday’s match is scheduled for 3 p.m. MT with live national television coverage on ESPN2.