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Real Salt Lake: Outlook for RSL? ‘We gotta win’

Despite a busy schedule and an injection of mostly inexperienced newcomers, RSL has set lofty goals for itself in 2012.



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Not only will RSL play a 34-game league schedule — three games against each Western Conference rival, and one against every Eastern Conference team — but it will begin CONCACAF Champions League group stages again at the end of July and contest the annual U.S. Open Cup in the middle of it all.

Winning early isn’t as important as winning more, as the season drags on.

At a glance

RSL roster

Forwards

7 » Fabian Espindola

12 » Emiliano Bonfigli*

15 » Alvaro Saborio

23 » Paulo, Jr.

27 » Cody Arnoux

Midfielders

Kyle Beckerman

8 » Will Johnson

11 » Javier Morales

14 » Yordany Alvarez

16 » Nico Muniz*

19 » Enzo Martinez*

20 » Ned Grabavoy

21 » Luis Gil

22 » Jonny Steele*

26 » Sebastian Velasquez*

Defenders

2 » Tony Beltran

3 » Diogo de Almeida*

4 » Jamison Olave

6 » Nat Borchers

17 » Chris Wingert

28 » Chris Schuler

44 » Leone Cruz*

53 » Terukazu Tanaka*

Goalkeepers

1 » Lalo Fernandez*

18 » Nick Rimando

24 » Kyle Reynish

*New player

Departed players

M Andy Williams » retired

M Collen Warner » lost to Montreal in expansion draft

D Robbie Russell » traded to D.C. United

M Jean Alexandre » traded to San Jose

D Nelson Gonzalez » released

M Arturo Alvarez » released

F Chris Agorsor » released

F Donny Toia » released

D Blake Wagner » released

GK Tim Melia » released

Odds of winning the MLS Cup

L.A. Galaxy 2/1

Seattle Sounders 5/1

Real Salt Lake 7/1

Sporting K.C. 8/1

FC Dallas 8/1

N.Y. Red Bulls 12/1

Colorado Rapids 12/1

Houston Dynamo 12/1

Philadelphia Union 18/1

Columbus Crew 18/1

Chicago Fire 25/1

Portland Timbers 25/1

N.E. Revolution 33/1

S. Jose Earthquakes 33/1

DC United 33/1

Chivas USA 40/1

Toronto FC 40/1

Van. Whitecaps 66/1

Montreal Impact 66/1

Source » Bovada.lv

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"A fair expectation for this team at this point is that they go and battle every week," coach Jason Kreis told reporters. "We’re going to try to keep our guys focused on all the small details, and not the results. We’re going to let people like you worry about the results."

And if they come, as the team hopes?

This is the first season the league will hold the MLS Cup at the site of the highest-ranked finalist, meaning it’s possible for RSL to win a championship on its home field at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Looks like the potential rewards are built in for RSL, too.


RSL Schedule

March 10 - at Los Angeles, 8:30 p.m.

March 17 - New York, 8 p.m.

March 24 - Chivas USA, 7 p.m.

March 31 - at Portland, 8 p.m.

April 4 - Montreal, 7 p.m.

April 7 - Colorado, 7 p.m.

April 14 - at Sporting KC, 6:30 p.m.

April 21 - at San Jose, 8:30 p.m.

April 25 - at FC Dallas, 6:30 p.m.

April 28 - Toronto FC, 7 p.m.

May 5 - New England, 7 p.m.

May 9 - at Chicago, 6:30 p.m.

May 12 - at Seattle, 8 p.m.

May 26 - FC Dallas, 7 p.m.

June 16 - at Chivas USA, 8:30 p.m.

June 20 - Los Angeles, 7 p.m.

June 23 - San Jose, 7 p.m.

June 30 - at Columbus, 6 p.m.

July 4 - Seattle, 8 p.m.

July 7 - Portland, 7 p.m.

July 14 - at San Jose, 8:30 p.m.

July 21 - Colorado, 8 p.m.

July 27 - Vancouver, 7 p.m.

Aug. 4 - at Colorado, 7 p.m.

Aug. 11 - at Vancouver, 5 p.m.

Aug. 18 - FC Dallas, 7 p.m.

Aug. 24 - at Philadelphia, 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 1 - D.C. United, 7 p.m.

Sept. 6 - at Houston, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 22 - Portland, 6 p.m.

Sept. 29 - at Chivas USA, 8:30 p.m.

Oct. 6 - at Los Angeles, 7 p.m.

Oct. 17 - at Seattle, 9 p.m.

Oct. 27 - Vancouver, 7 p.m.

* All Times Mountain



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