Monday, November 23, 2009

Real Salt Lake’s MLS Cup Weekend


Sunday evening’s capturing of the MLS Cup was the highlight of a fabulous weekend of events for RSL Fans.  I have never been part of a sporting event that even approached that.  It was an expensive adventure on short notice, and completely worth it.  Witnessing the events of the weekend made me very proud to be counted among the community of RSL fans.  Here are some of my thoughts:

Pre-Game Get-Together

I won’t go into this any further, since I already discussed this shortly after the event, but the gathering at FX McRory’s on Saturday night was a fabulous display of supporters of the team, and I even heard a couple of Sounders fans talking about this at the match on Sunday.  Apparently word got around! 

Here is a video of the event from Big Soccer poster, RSLSteve:

RSL ruled the pre-game.

March to the Match

I was looking forward to this event, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  I believe there was to be an announcement around 3:45 local time.  Some people said Don Garber was going to speak, others mentioned Drew Carey. The Sounders band came up Occidental street heading toward the park where RSL, Sounders and a few Galaxy fans were gathered.  They had horns-a-blarin’ and it was quite impressive.  They ended at the head of the park, and it looked like they were ready to lead the crowd on the return trip.  Just then an army of RSL fans came up the street behind them.  It seemed like there were thousands of them, and they had drums, and chants going that were many times louder than the horns that had just subsided.  The group gathered at the edge of the park, completely dominating everything else that was going on.  I’m not sure if there was a speech made, but if there was I didn’t hear a word of it.  It was pandemonium!

Here is a vid from Westleyl of the event:

This group cut a wide swath from the park to the stadium, where they continued the festivities just outside of the stadium.  Eventually I broke off from the group and headed into the stadium so that I could get a few photo’s from the ramp above.  It was only then that I heard (and mostly saw) a concert going on at a nearby stage.  I assume that this was Third Eye Blind, but they were overwhelmed by the rest of the festivities.

RSL ruled the March.

MLS Cup Champs

The stadium was impressive.  It was my first time in Qwest Field and I was amazed at the size, and the view of the city.  I was also saddened that the main contingent of RSL fans were up in the rafters, but I took an adventure up there and they seemed to be having a great time.  There were RSL fans scattered all over the stadium, with a pocket down in one corner, and a larger (but not louder) LA Galaxy in the opposite corner (fairness issues abound with this one).

The Sounders crowd obviously out-numbered everyone else in the stadium.  They seemed most gracious – we talked to many of them – and many of them were cheering for RSL.  But most of all, they wanted to see good soccer. 

I won’t re-hash the game for all of you, as I’m sure you all witnessed it.  The weather was cold, but rain-free, and the soccer was choppy at times, but it had you on the edge of your seat throughout.  It was indeed a spectacle! pics,,

RSL ruled the Night.


Watching the win was very exciting, and nerve-wracking, but watching the celebration on the field was equally enticing.  We had the butt-end view and couldn’t see the stage, but we could see RSL fans on that side responding, and many of the team made their way over to our side to show us the Cup.  The team was obviously reveling in the moment: Yahoo pics

Although we had an early flight this morning, I’m sure the partying went on until well into the night in the Emerald City.  And then the team made it back to SLC this afternoon to another celebration at the airport.  SL Trib pics of the homecoming

Here is Big Soccer poster Mauly’s eyewitness video of the gathering:

The final celebration is set to occur tomorrow at Rio Tinto Stadium at 6 PM.  Here are the details:

Congratulations! We are all thrilled to have won the 2009 MLS Cup! We will be celebrating with our fans very soon. Here is the pertinent information:

What: Real Salt Lake 2009 MLS Cup Celebration Rally; includes the entire RSL team, coaching staff and special guests

When: Tuesday, November 24th, 6:00 pm

Gates Open: 5:30 pm

Where: Rio Tinto Stadium

Who: All.

Free parking in the West and North parking lots; no ticket necessary for admission
Other: We will invite the supporter groups, VIP’s, player families and select youth teams to stand on the field for the event. The remainder in the West side stands until its full. Select suites will be open (DWC, Rio Tinto, etc.)

More details will follow.