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Real Salt Lake Comes up Short in MLS Cup Match

Greg Echlin
Real Salt Lake fans brave the cold in Kansas City on Saturday during the MLS Cup Match against Sporting Kansas City

For Real Salt Lake, the Major League Soccer season came to a disappointing end. The winner of the MLS Cup was never previously determined by as many as ten rounds of penalty kicks. But that’s what happened Saturday night against Sporting Kansas City. 

It came down to penalty kicks after the teams slugged it out for 120 minutes and the match remained deadlocked, 1-1. Sebastian Velasquez, the 22-year native of Colombia had a shot to win it for RSL in the eighth round, but was stopped by Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. Two rounds later, Sporting was celebrating and RSL captain Kyle Beckerman consoled Velasquez…

“You know it’s every kid’s dream.  For it not to happen the way you see it finishing is always tough, but I’m sure he’ll learn from it,” said Beckerman.

By then it sunk in on what RSL left behind.  It would have been RSL’s second MLS Cup in the last five seasons.

“It was there for us.  We missed out.  It was there for the win and it’s just tough to take,” said Beckerman.

Speculation surrounds the future of RSL coach Jason Kreis, with his name linked to other coaching openings, but he didn’t drop any hints after the match.

Instead, Kreis applauded his team’s effort

“Just by getting to this final, it was a remarkable statement about what this group of players has been able to do and what this group of men has been able to do together,” said Kreis

The temperature was 20 degrees at kickoff, colder with the wind chill, and   played on a partially frozen field.  RSL was left numb with the loss, literally and figuratively.

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