My family and I are in a place where I was dreaming to be.
Signing the long-term deal to wear the RSL shield and no longer be on loan from Spartak represents a dream come true, a dream a long, looooooooong time in the making.
The most important thing you should know is that FINALLY in my career, I know where I want to be, I know why I want to be here, I know the reasons, I know the answers, I know what I have to do ... And it is an amazing feeling!
The last nine months since I've returned to Utah have been awesome. The warm, welcoming sights and sounds that me, my wife and my kids experience every day, seeing your smiles and appreciation at Rio Tinto Stadium, on the road, in the streets, it can't get any better!
Again, I've seen it first-hand, it doesn't get any better than this!
It is important for everyone to know that this decision is about so much more than just about money - it is about the fans, and the club. The most important thing that RSL has given me - both when I was a young player and again this season - is positivity. Our fans appreciate hard work, showing us love and respect for the dedication and commitment put in every day - through tough times, through pain, through whatever - just to be on that field in Sandy.
One thing all fans need to know that they will always get from me is 150% effort on the field; you will always get my best, even when I can't always score, can't always assist, when we can't always win. Obviously that's always the goal - to be perfect, we will always try to do that - but we will always be on the field trying to give our everything.
I've had great travels through my life, and my family has been with me every step of the way. I've played in pressure-packed situations, for clubs of various sizes, with incredibly high stakes. And that's precisely why the most important feeling we get here in Salt Lake is the LOVE we feel from you. People here appreciate the little things we do on the field, or even off the field; that's why we feel welcome in the community.
When people take the time to say "Thank You!" - that's the best thing we can ever hear. That's how I've learned that I am appreciated here, the small gestures we receive from the team, the players, the respect we get from the Owner, the club in general, everyone that works for RSL off the field, each and every day people have smiles on their faces and have a positive outlook for their jobs, always trying to take this club to new heights. This is what is most important, this sense of family that RSL has in this community, from Mr. Hansen to all of us in the locker room to the staff and most importantly, to our fans.
As I stated back in January, I'm here to win a Championship, and nothing less will do. I get goosebumps when I talk about it. When we won MLS Cup 2009 it was a great feeling, what it meant to this club was incredible, but that's history - what we need to do now is write the future. I don't care about individual awards, all I care about is winning another Championship with this club, building a TEAM that will be the best in the league, a TEAM that others will be scared to play.
Now that I'm HOME, let's do this!
As we get ready for Sunday, this is the time to relax ... as a club, with two games before the playoffs, we have to believe. We can't be nervous, we have to be confident, we have to move forward. Makes no difference if it is Game 1 or 2 or 33 or 34; we have to believe the way we did at the beginning of the season, and the performances will come!
See you Sunday* at the RioT!
Forward, Real Salt Lake