"They're fantastically together."
These were the words that Coach Jason Kreis used to describe his team in the post game press conference after last Friday's big win over the Portland Timbers. It gives us a great look at the camaraderie of the players, which is an aspect of the RSL Family that I have not touched upon in my previous blog posts. "This team is tighter than any other team I have ever been a part of, any team I have ever been a part of, playing or coaching" Kreis said.
With these words in my mind I entered the locker room after the match to talk to some of the players. It was one thing for the coach to talk about the closeness of the team, but did the players feel the same way? I was able to talk to a few of the players and will be posting their comments over the course of the next few days.
The first person I talked to was Sebastian Velasquez. I asked him about what he thought of Kreis' comments as well as the RSL Family in general.
"The good thing is that we have a very good relationship off the field. A lot of us guys will hang out in a whole group. I think that is very important. It keeps us together in the good moments and in the bad moments. Throughout the whole season you are going to have ups and downs. But it is that connection as team mates that helps us to come back up.
That is something that is very important on this team. That is something we take pride in. We can look to our left and our right and we can say that we are brothers. We are a family. We are here to help each other up. At the end of the year we will hold the cup up. We will hold it as one. As Real Salt Lake. The motto says it all. The team is the star. There are no guys here that think they are bigger or anything. It is a very good atmosphere.
It is something that everybody that comes here will say, that we have a very family-oriented team. It goes from the coaching staff to the players. From the players to the staff that takes care of the field. From the president to the general manager and even to our fans. We have played games in the Open Cup where it was pouring down and the fans are there for us. It gives us that boost to keep going forward to fight for these different cups."I will be the first to admit that I have no inside knowledge of what any locker rooms are like around the league. But from those that do, it really sounds like RSL has something different. There is a true friendship off the field. And I truly believe that this friendship only leads to success on the field. They are not worried about getting their own stats. They have bought in to the idea that the team is the star.
Or as Coach Kreis best described it, they're fantastically together.