LEHI, Utah – Coming into the two-game aggregate series against Monterrey, Real Salt Lake wanted to get a draw on the road — and score multiple road goals in the process.
Now, they find that destiny is in their own hands.
“It’s our game to lose,” RSL midfielder Will Johnson said ahead of the CONCACAF Champions League final against Monterrey on Wednesday (10 pm ET, Fox Soccer). “We’re exactly where we wanted to be.”
Head coach Jason Kreis echoed those thoughts.
“Here we are with a dream scenario: a real good chance to have a positive result in front of our home fans and lift an incredibly important trophy in front of our home fans – a sellout crowd,” he said. “What more could we ask for?”
But don’t let all the rhetoric fool you. Kreis and RSL are still well aware that Monterrey is one of the most imposing and successful teams in Mexico, and that a win at Rio Tinto is certainly not impossible for los Rayados.
“I think we have to feel good about what we accomplished down there,” Kreis said. “But it’s a measured good for sure because this is still a very dangerous opponent and we still have a lot of work to be done.”
“I think that they should feel very good about what they did to us,” he added. “They did tear us apart, and had quite a few chances, and quite frankly probably should have won that game.”
Forward Arturo Alvarez thinks that the first few minutes in the match will be important, as both teams try to impose their will.
“I think we’ve just got to make sure that they don’t start the same way that they did in Monterrey,” he said. “At home I think we’re a completely different team.”