Welcome to From The Upper Deck, my blog about RSL and soccer in general. I have a lot of passion for the beautiful game. I am just a fan that likes to sit in the upper deck and take it all in.

Friday, July 26, 2013

RSL Family Part 2- Fan Natasha Cottrell

In part one of my look at the RSL Family, Coach Kreis made the comment how the fans were just as much a part of the RSL Family as anyone in the organization. It seems like the fans have always had a special relationship with the players. That started from the early years with the club and it continues on today.

As I was preparing to write my original post about the RSL Family, I knew that I would want to get some quotes from RSL fans. I sent out some messages to some of the RSL fans that I knew truly loved this team. I wanted to ask them the same thing I asked Ian Joy. "What does the RSL Family mean to you?"

One of the people I sent a request to was Natasha Cottrell. Now I had never really talked to Natasha before, but having followed her on Twitter I felt she would be a good person to ask. The email she sent back to me was amazing. Once again I could not imagine just taking a quote or two out of her whole email. It was just so emotional and powerful that I asked Natasha's permission to post the whole thing. Thankfully she said yes.

My story is kind of a long one...but I will make it kinda short!!! lol We are blessed with the greatest bunch of guys ever from coaching staff to players! We've been fans for about 6 years now. Here's how our love and obsession with Real Salt Lake happened...my husband passed away from suicide in 2004. My kids and I had a very hard time for about 3 years. There's always a lot of blame with suicide and that's what happened to us...my kids played soccer their entire lives, with my husband as their coaches! They each played for about 6 years! But once he died, they gave it all up! They just didn't want to play and have a good time without him here. Some how we managed to make it to 2009! That same year, my doctors found I had some tumors. So my kids we're faced with losing the only parent they had left!! So we waited for the autopsy results to come back...which fortunately came back as benign!!! I was taking some anti cancer drugs and was unable to attend any games that year. Watching RSL win the 2009 MLS Cup championship on TV changed our lives. It made us long to attend our first RSL game! In 2010...we attend almost every home game. We became season ticket holders in 2011. I still don't have tickets for all of us to come only 2 per game. In 2012, my daughter was raped. Fortunately for her, she had this team. She gets excited for game day and holding her scarf up, chanting for our team to win! So you ask "What does this team mean to me?" I've seen a team pull her out of her fear, anger and sadness. We go to practices and the guys know us! They come over and talk to us, they message with us on Twitter and Facebook. A bunch of guys who aren't paid to be our friends...but take the time for us, to make us happy! I don't mind supporting a bunch of guys like that! These guys are like family to us. We love them...this is our team!!! I am glad the coaching staff brings good guys here...the kind of guys I am honored to have as my kids heroes!!!!! A bunch of guys I will yell my lungs out for and scream til I am hoarse!!! I'm here for RSL!

First I would like to thank Natasha again for her willingness to share her and her family's story. I know that her words really touched my heart. I recently had the chance to meet her at an RSL practice and I can say that the RSL Family is better because she is a part of it.

Working on this series of blog posts so far has been really interesting. In the first  two responses that I have posted, very little has been said about the soccer being played on the field. It seems to me that what makes the RSL Family so special is the quality of the people involved. Both Ian and Natasha have been uplifted by the people involved with this team. It will be interesting to see as I continue to get comments from all aspects of the organization if this running theme continues.

What do you think? What does the RSL Family mean to you? I would love to see more comments on the topic. 


  1. That is a moving and heartbreaking story. I hope all players on the roster are read the story.

  2. Thank you for relating your story Natasha! Your family has been through a lot in a short amount of time, and I'm glad to hear that supporting RSL is like a form of therapy for someone else.

    My two Autistic kids have been helped as well.