Real Salt Lake has a great opportunity in front of it on Tuesday when it hosts the LA Galaxy in the quarterfinal of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. While the team is getting over a 3-1 defeat to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday that saw RSL allow three goals after the 80th minute after toting a 1-0 lead.
“What matters is just moving on to Tuesday. It’s a big opportunity in the Open Cup. We’re only a few games away from competing for a trophy, so that is where our focus needs to be. We’ll get better there,” RSL defender Tony Beltran said after the match. “Having a quick turnaround is helpful, because it gives us something to focus on and is something that motivates us.”
Midfielder Javier Morales had a similar sentiment.
“I want to play tonight because I want to forget that game as soon as possible,” he said. “Either way, we have to be honest with everyone and thinking about it. We have to be better.”
RSL was back in training at Rio Tinto Stadium on Monday, readying for a difficult task ahead against a Galaxy team that is already much different than the one it faced twice in the month of May, playing to a 0-0 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium on May 6 and losing 1-0 at the StubHub Center on May 27.
The Galaxy has been among the top teams in MLS in the last month, winning three of the last four league matches by scores of 5-1, 5-0 and 4-0. In those three games alone, Robbie Keane has four goals and three assists.
The message in the RSL locker room is clear heading into this match, though. Real Salt Lake is three matches away from lifting a trophy. Win all three and the Open Cup title will reside at Rio Tinto Stadium. Lose any along the way and that dream passes.
“We’re three wins away from winning the Open Cup. We can’t let anything in the past linger,” Head Coach Jeff Cassar said. “It was five wins to win the Cup when we started. We have three more to go. We can’t have any letdowns against the Galaxy.”
Kickoff for Tuesday’s match is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT. Tickets are available online and the match will be streamed at RealSaltLake.com.