Sandy • The sense of disappointment still sits with Real Salt Lake.
The team grasps the lost opportunity, when RSL let a two-goal lead slip away late on Saturday against San Jose.
L.A. Galaxy at Real Salt LakeAt Rio Tinto Stadium
Saturday, 2 p.m.
TV » NBC Sports
But if you told coach Jeff Cassar before the season that his troops would pull four of six possible points on a season-opening road trip against arguably his two biggest rivals — the Earthquakes and the L.A. Galaxy — he would’ve willingly endorsed that idea.
Still, you can’t tell a competitive team to be happy with a win and a tie. Not when that team held a 3-1 lead over San Jose in the 75th minute and watched it disappear.
"It’s a learning experience for us," Cassar said. "We have to go back to the film and see what we could’ve done better. But it was still a good start to the season for us. We have a long season, but we have to take advantage of all our opportunities."
Saturday’s finish makes the rematch with the Galaxy this week a bit more important for RSL, if that was even possible. Playing its first match at Rio Tinto Stadium against one of the glamour teams in MLS is big enough.
Playing an L.A. squad that probably won’t want to start a 10-month season with two losses to RSL makes Saturday one of those rare late-March matches that have a lot at stake.
"They’re going to come out flying against us," RSL captain Kyle Beckerman said.
"They aren’t going to want to start 0-2 against us, and we have to be prepared for that. It’s been a while since we’ve played at Rio Tinto, so we definitely want to give our fans something to cheer about. They’re going to be gunning for us, so it’s going to be a huge game."
Starting goalkeeper Nick Rimando said his back feels much better and he considers himself ready to play on Saturday, an opinion that Cassar backed up when asked by the media.
Rimando suffered back spasms against San Jose in the 22nd minute. He never left, but was clearly hobbled by pain he says he’s never felt before. On Tuesday, Rimando went full speed in practice and in scrimmage time.
"It feels better," Rimando said. "It’s loosened up, so I’m ready to go."
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