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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Utahns should come together to celebrate Real?s MLS win

By Bryan Chouinard

Utah sports fans near and far, rejoice, for the time to rally together is upon us.

For the first time since the Utah Stars knocked off the Kentucky Colonels in 1971 to win the American Basketball Association Championship, a professional team from Utah has won a national championship.

After winning only two games away from Rio Tinto Stadium all season long, Real Salt Lake won three in a row on the road to clinch the franchise’s first MLS Cup. For the second straight week, RSL won in penalty kicks behind an inspired performance by goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who was named MVP of the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Galaxy took the lead in the 41st minute when captain Landon Donovan played a perfect ball into the box for Mike McGee, who one-touched the service past a diving Rimando for the 1-0 lead. But the lead was short-lived8212;RSL pulled even when forward Robbie Findley buried a loose ball inside the Galaxy penalty box past a diving Josh Saunders, who had come in to replace injured keeper Donovan Ricketts. With the two teams deadlocked at one goal each after overtime, RSL won 5-4 on penalties.

The team returned to Salt Lake City around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, and a rally is planned for Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium for fans and players to celebrate the win.
I fully expect to see all of you there.

This was a huge moment for not only RSL, but also for Utah. It’s been 38 long years since a professional team has brought any hardware back to the Beehive State, and only five years after its conception, RSL has broken the drought8212;when no one gave it a chance.
Going into the final day of the season, RSL needed to not only win, but also for three other teams to fall just to get into the playoffs, and that’s exactly what happened.

Real went on to knock off defending champion Columbus Crew before topping Chicago to earn its first MLS Cup berth in franchise history. That’s where the road was supposed to end. RSL was going up against the darlings of the MLS8212;The Galaxy.

Leading the Galaxy was U.S. international Landon Donovan and MLS sweetheart David Beckham, and after listening to the ESPN team of John Harkes and J.P. Dellacamera, who called the game, for 10 minutes, you would swear that Beckham would not only win the game all by himself, but that he would also ascend out of the stadium into the heavens.
In reality, as we have seen time and time again, individuals don’t win championships, teams do, and in this case, it was RSL.

For these reasons, I salute you, Real Salt Lake. You will not get the press coverage you deserve despite doing something the Jazz have yet to do in their 30 years in Utah, but for all of us who have followed you from the beginning, it couldn’t get much sweeter.
In almost every case, there is nothing worse than the classic bandwagon fan, and there aren’t many things that upset me more.

With that said, this is the exception. Real Salt Lake is our own, and they brought us back something this state desperately needed8212;a championship.

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