When I interviewed Real's longest serving player, midfielder Andy Williams, for a recent cover feature, Real Passion, he said he thought the team's playoffs chances would end up depending on their final fixture in the season against Colorado. And then he laughed. A few days later coach Jason Kreis mournfully agreed. "I'm afraid it will," he said. That was six games ago. Both men know their team.---
So Saturday night before a sell-out crowd Real Salt Lake will go up against a team that last year they knocked out of playoff contention at the end of the season on Colorado's home turf with a last minute goal assisted by Williams. This year it's at Rio Tinto and don't expect Colorado to show any mercy. This is going to be a high-energy game as both sides fight for their playoff lives.
Real's management have made much of their team's chances of making the playoffs being better than the pundits have predicted. They've crunched the numbers and sent out the charts. But fans will be looking for just one thing on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Sandy -- a galvanized team that wants goals from minute one.
Reviews of last Saturday's away game against Toronto were decidedly mixed. Some saw chances being made, others saw chances squandered.
Saturday's game there can't be any ambiguity. When I saw Jamison Olave [see pic] tonight at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce monthly get together he admitted as much. "We have to win." That's all that matters. Then it's a case of letting the dominoes fall as they may.
The team owes the fans after an often deeply disappointing season 100 percent commitment from the get-go.
Let's hope they deliver.