Fraser: Pope a 'true competitor'

he still has that intangible drive and determination that has made him the highly successful player he has been throughout his career. Standing in the middle of the field, conducting his post-game interview on KSL, Eddie showed how hard it was to endure that loss.

Real Salt Lake had not played well, but had showed real character, and an undying spirit in defending in front of the goal like true warriors. Eddie had himself been in many physical confrontations with two of the stronger forwards in the league and had won his individual battles all night long.

Games like that take a great physical toll, because if you don't have the ball a great deal, you never find a moment to rest. It also takes a great mental toll. It is a hard one to stomach when you fight and fight to put yourself in a position to get a point on the road against one of the best teams in the league - only to have it slip away in the dying minutes.

While the entire team battled with the heart of champions under intense pressure for most of the night, Pope stood out, showing why he has been where he has been. For all of his achievements over the years, I thought that Saturday night was the kind of game that showed what he is about - grit and determination.

You hear about how players diminish when they get older. Remember that Pope is only 32. His days are far from numbered. RSL fans, be happy that you have Eddie Pope on your side. His character is what it is, and even when his physical skills start to erode, his heart and character will still be intact.

Robin Fraser, a five-time MLS Best XI selection and two-time MLS Defender of the Year, ended his 10-year MLS career and 16-year professional career last October, and now begins his first season with RSL as the team's color television analyst. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Fraser amassed 27 caps for the U.S. National Team and was drafted fourth overall by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the inaugural MLS draft.

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