Thursday, December 3, 2009

Open Letter from Jason Kreis

From Behind the Shield:

To the RSL Nation:

The smile hasn’t left my face in a week, but I have a message for our fans, all of you, whether you have been there since day one over five years ago, or whether you put us on your radar on that fateful Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009.

We have no more time to bask in the glory of our first title – our early February report date for training camp is mere weeks away, and our March 27 opener at San Jose kicks off our title defense. I personally cannot wait to see you all at Rio Tinto Stadium when we host Seattle on April 10!

As I write this, I am assembling my itinerary to travel both domestically and internationally in the coming weeks to bolster the depth, breadth and quality of our roster as we prepare for meaningful international competition, something we will enjoy as a club for the first time ever in 2010. Long-term, we look to build Real Salt Lake into the dynasty that our ownership and fans deserve.

But I wanted to take a quick moment to thank you, the fans, our lifeblood, for your faith and belief in us as we captured MLS Cup 2009. As you have been for five years, you were our heartbeat in Seattle – you were felt, seen and heard all over the city. The sea of RSL claret-and-cobalt evident in the video and pictures from the match (and SLC Int’l Airport, and the Utah State Capitol, and State Street, and Rio Tinto Stadium last week) made it clear to the world that our declarations about the best fans in Major League Soccer calling Utah home were not hyperbole, were not bluster – they are the truth.

As I communicated to our players in the Qwest Field locker room two Sundays ago: Be confident, be bold, be aggressive.

Now I want to let all of you know, my message to the players, the staff, and the entire organization, of which you are an integral part, is that now is not the time to be complacent – efforts by all of us who love RSL and are responsible for both its short-term and long-term prosperity must be redoubled and rededicated.

Be confident as a fan of RSL. Wear your Championship colors with pride, with boldness. Be aggressive in helping us educate our city, our state, our region about not only what we have accomplished in 2009, but our long-term goals for 2010 and beyond.

I implore you to renew your season tickets, if you haven’t already. I ask you to take advantage of our Christmas ticket specials in order to expose your friends and family to the magic of our sport, and help us continue to establish Rio Tinto Stadium as the most dominant home-field advantage in MLS, and hopefully CONCACAF.

As I told our players again at halftime and throughout the game: It is our time.

We want to prove that our first title is the first step of many, as we pursue additional hardware. Throughout our scintillating run through the postseason, we were empowered by belief – in ourselves, shared by few outside the locker room, and even fewer outside Utah.

But you believed, and because of that, we are Champions.

It is our time.


Jason Kreis
Head Coach
Real Salt Lake
2009 MLS Cup Champions