KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Just call them the Camo Kids.
Team captain Kyle Beckerman enforced a strict dress code for Real Salt Lake's trip to Portland two weeks ago for the second leg of the Western Conference Championship: khaki and camouflage.
Vamos a la Guerra !! Off to battle with my RSL family! Camo travél theme time to finish what we started#VamosRSL pic.twitter.com/Je2mFQemT3— Joao Plata (@JoaoPlata10) November 22, 2013
It worked well enough to score a 1-0 victory over the Timbers and a trip to MLS Cup.
So why mess with it? On Thursday, the Claret-and-Cobalt stuck with the camo motif for their trip here to KC for Saturday’s final. With one slight tweak.
“We added in the black this time,” RSL head coach Jason Kreis – sporting camouflage pants and a black sweater – pointed out at Thursday’s press conference upon arrival in the City of Fountains.
It’s a postseason tradition Salt Lake have kept going since 2009, the year they won their first and so far only championship, Kreis explained. The team leaders also routinely hold best- and worst-dressed competitions. The losers, according to Kreis, are the targets in a friendly game of post-training butts-up.
“It’s a good bit of fun that Kyle and Nick [Rimando] both kind of take charge of,” Kreis said.
- Get more RSL news and notes at RealSaltLake.com
This postseason, however, marks the first time RSL have actually required a uniform. In the past, it’s been more about everyone wearing similarly cut jeans or collared shirts. There’s been a bit more coordination this time around.
But why the camo? Let's just say the previous experiment for last month's trip to Southern California for the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals didn’t exactly pan out.
“Well, we tried denim on denim against LA,” said Beckerman thinking back to that 1-0 loss to the LA Galaxy, “and that didn’t work.”
Jonah Freedman is the managing editor of MLSsoccer.com.