SANDY, Utah – With only three games remaining in the MLS regular season, Real Salt Lake know what is at stake.
Their next couple of games will determine plenty when it comes to playoff seeding, especially considering the team's next two games are against the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders, the two clubs with whom RSL are battling to stay out of the No. 4 vs. 5 first-round knockout playoff scenario.
But that may not be all that is on the players' minds.
"I don't care," disclosed Real captain Kyle Beckerman. "I'll play in the wild card if we have to. I don't think it's really that big of a deal. If you're going to win the whole thing, you're going to win that game, and then you're going to win the next and then you have some confidence going into the third game.”
What Beckerman does have on his mind, however, is the possibility of hosting the MLS Cup at Rio Tinto Stadium on Dec. 1. The finalist with the higher point total gets that honor this season, so RSL are not only concerned with what is happening in the West, but in the East as well.
"You want to finish as high as you can, so that if you do make it to the finals, you have a chance to play at home," Beckerman said. "That’s what’s really important, to pick up as many points as you can to maybe get a final there. That's really more important to me than playing in the wild-card game."
Right now, RSL sit on 52 points with 31 games played. In the East, Sporting Kansas City, New York, Chicago, D.C. United, Houston and Columbus are all bunched together, and one of them will represent the East in the title game.
"That’s a pretty solid motivator, for sure," said RSL head coach Jason Kreis. "We have to believe we’re capable of getting to that game, so if we believe that we’re capable of getting to that game, we have to put ourselves in the best possible position to win the game."
The chase to see if RSL could potentially host the MLS Cup continues Saturday when the team visits the Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.
Beckerman gets a little more recognition
Real's game against the Galaxy is being televised on NBC Sports. Following the game, the network is scheduled to air another edition of its MLS 36 show, where a camera crew spends 36 hours in the life of a player. This week's edition features Beckerman.
"It was fun ... to see behind the scenes of what every TV show out is," said Beckerman. "It was kind of interesting. I saw it last night on the internet. It was cool; it was fine. I don't think there was too much cussing, so my mom won't be too upset.
"It will be a keepsake for years to come, when I'll look back and see a day getting ready for a game and playing in it, and that will be pretty neat to have."