The Recent Results: Last year was indisputably a turning point in the history of the franchise for Real Salt Lake. They finished third in the West, qualified for their first playoffs, and even made it to the Semifinal just to lose a heartbreaker to NYRB. Their defense finally showed up (4th overall in goals against), so their fans started to as well.
The Man in Charge: Jason Kreis has done very well at RSL, and I see no reason why he doesn’t continue to lead that squad to greener pastures. He was a legendary MLS player, and I, for one, think he will end up being even more remembered for being a significant MLS manager. Only time will tell, but I think Kreis will do great things in Utah.
On the Offensive: Javier Morales is a revelation and probably one of the most overlooked players in the league when it comes to accolades. In addition, Movsisyan knows how to find the net and Robbie Findley is always a threat to score. I think RSL’s offense will improve in 2009 and place them in the top half of the table in goals scored.
For the Defense: RSL’s bread and butter is D, especially at home. Borchers and Wingert are steady and strong, Olave is stifling in a pinch, and Kyle Beckerman is one of the best 5 defensive mids in the league. The goalie issue is still crazy to me. I have nothing against Rimando, but if you aren’t going to ever play Seitz, why not deal him?
Movie They Resemble: I know in the 2009 MLS Season Preview: Schedule Edition I said I would not compare any team to The Passion of the Christ, but I have (as usual) changed my mind. That movie fits RSL like a crown of thorns. Wow, I’m really going to hell, aren’t I? Anyways, think about it. RSL, like Jesus, was beaten and flogged for awhile before making a remarkable return to relevancy. In addition, the team plays in Utah, which is definitely the #1 state in the nation when it comes to devotion to Christians’ Lord and Savior. Plus, their coach is freaking named Kreis, as in The Passion of the Kreis. Moreover, Jason Kreis (JK) and Jesus Christ (JC) have a lot in common. The coach’s wikipedia page even says he enjoys carpentry in his spare time. It’s a no brainer. And, yep, Satan just penciled me in for a stay at his hot springs. I wonder if Hell has Fox Soccer Channel?
Probably just QVC.