Needing just a victory or a 0-0 or 1-1 tie to beat Mexican champion Monterrey and become the first MLS team to reach the FIFA Club World Cup, Real Salt Lake lost 1-0 at home last night. The loss ended RSL’s 34-game home unbeaten streak in all competitions.
What should have been the most important win by an American club in the MLS’s 16-year history, instead turned into a heartbreaking loss. RSL created chances, especially late in the game, but luck and a lack of composure in front of goal was RSL’s downfall.
After a great 2-2 draw in Monterrey, RSL contained the Mexican champions for most of the game. Then with first-half stoppage time, quick one-twos between Sergio Santana and Humberto Suazo created an opening for Suazo to fire the ball past Nick Rimando.
Monterrey are the sixth consecutive Mexican club to claim the CONCACAF title and they will be heading to the FIFA Club World Cup in December to possibly play Barcelona or Manchester United. in the process ending RSL’s 37-match home unbeaten streak across all competitions which dated back to May 2009.
For RSL the loss is a bitter disappointment. They were so close to making history. Now they must turn their attention to winning the U.S. Open Cup, MLS Cup or Supporters Shield if they want to get back into the 2011-12 CONCACAF Champions League.