Real Salt Lake Takes Playoff Mentality to Colorado Matchup

The chill in the air lets everyone around MLS know that the MLS Cup Playoffs are just around the corner.  With two matches left on the regular season slate, Real Salt Lake will face the Colorado Rapids in the final road match on Sunday in a match with massive implications for RSL’s playoff hopes.

Currently one point behind FC Dallas for the sixth and final playoff spot and in the midst of four teams fighting for the final two spots in the Western Conference, RSL heads to Colorado with a 7-2-4 record in the last 13 matches dating back to July 4.  With each of the final six points critical to the chances of the club reaching the postseason for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons, the team has taken an approach to every game as if it’s a playoff game.

“The mindset is phenomenal.  That’s nothing new for the game we are approaching because we’ve been like that for a while now.  That’s the mindset that we’ve taken and they’ve done well with it,” RSL Head Coach Mike Petke said Tuesday on ESPN 700’s Bill Riley Show.  “They understand the challenge that’s ahead of them.  They understand what our goals are.  And they are very eager to get this game going and hopefully get a result, which is what we need.”

RSL will be without defender Marcelo Silva – a key midseason addition – after he was shown a red card in a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy on September 30.  Jefferson Savarino is also doubtful with an ankle injury suffered in that same game.

Despite those two potential absences, Petke is confident in the depth of the roster to have a strong team available to face the Rapids, again taking the opportunity to praise the mental approach to each game.

“The strength has always been mentality,” he said.  “The talent has always been there.”

Kickoff on Sunday is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. MT.  To hear the full interview, listen below.