So heading into the second leg of the RSL vs. Seattle playoff series I found myself in a strange position of just not having a lot of energy or passion left for RSL or MLS, after 5 years of almost non-stop blogging and tweets, it was time for a rest from it all.
So that was a month ago and after the heart breaking loss to the Sounders at home, the RSL Open Houses for season ticket holders, and the rest of the MLS Cup playoffs, I have found that I really did need the break I took. For those of you who expressed concern, thanks it was just time for a break and it has allowed me a lot of time to think about RSL, MLS, and soccer in America in general.
It is kinda funny that this morning one of the first things I see is a tweet from Brian Dunesth, one of the nicest guys, one of the best MLS/Soccer broadcasters going, and a guy who I respect the opinion and knowledge of when it comes to all things footy. Here is what he tweeted:
Been a part of MLS since 1997 in some way, shape or form and words can’t explain how far this league has come.
He is exactly right, the league has come a very long way, and many fans forget or simply weren’t around in those early years, so it is hard to appreciate what we have.
I remember attending Columbus Crew matches in 1996 & 97 when they played in the Horseshoe on the campus of Ohio State University and 3-4,000 fans would sit in a stadium built to hold 100,000, or during my time living in Texas when I would venture to the Texas State Fairgrounds to watch the Dallas Burn play at the Cotton Bowl stadium. Again a couple of thousand fans would be there in a stadium that was built to hold tens of thousands of fans, it was there where I first saw Jason Kreis play. I have a feeling that I probably saw Dunny play a couple of times back in those days as well, but nobody pays attention to the defenders (I kid).
When I left Dallas, I kept watching MLS whenever I could on TV, back in the days where live streamed matches were just a pipe dream of the future. When I moved to Salt Lake City in 2001, MLS was probably the last thing I expected to become one of the most consuming passions of my life, it was now just something I paid attention to when it was convenient and not much more. It was in the middle of 2004 when I was considering leaving Salt Lake City, that Dave Checketts and Don Garber announced that Salt Lake City would be joining the MLS family in 2005. I am not sure I can credit that announcement with my decision to remain in Salt Lake, but it sure had some influence on it, and the rest as they say is history.
From opening day in 2005 to today, RSL has become a larger and larger part of my life from being a season ticket holder from the start, to joining the RCB back in the day, to starting my blogging career back in 2007, to being on the pitch taking pictures at MLS Cup in 2009 in Seattle, the journey has been amazing. I now consider more fellow RSL fans as my family than I do those who I am actually related to, and while the next few weeks and months are going to be hard on a lot of us fans as the team makes what I believe will be the biggest overhaul of the club since Jason and Garth took over. I am very optimistic about what will happen in the future, we have seen our team reach some great heights over the last few years and I believe the best is yet to come for both Real Salt Lake, and for Major League Soccer.
I hope that you will continue to find time in your busy lives to stop by from time to time and read my thoughts about our team, the league, and the sport that so many of us have had become such a large part of our lives.
That’s How I See It.