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, March 14, 2014

RSL Family- RSL President Bill Manning

By Charles Barnard

Before I get started I wanted to plug a new RSL podcast that is out there, Off the Crossbar. I feel very lucky that I was asked to take part in the second episode of the show. You can check it out here.

Photo courtesy of Real Salt Lake 
As I have continued on my journey to learn about the RSL Family I have discovered one important thing. The RSL Family means many different things to different people. And that thought was echoed by the president of RSL, Bill Manning.

For this series I have talked to many different people in the RSL organization, but one person that I had not talked to was Manning. Recently I was at an RSL media luncheon and had the chance to talk with him. I appreciate him letting me take a few minutes of his time.

Like everyone one else in this series I asked him the simple question, what does the RSL Family mean to you?

When you're in it you know what it means. It's a camaraderie. It's an accountability. It's fighting for the guy next to you. There is just a belief in our organization. Look at all the players that have been here five years plus. They mean something to us. They are family to us. You don't throw your family out on the street. It does change a little bit year by year but we really believe that we are a family. And we believe our fans are part of that. 

I think the RSL family may mean something different to everyone a little bit. Everyone has their unique version of it. But in the end it is a togetherness. It is probably the one word that would describe it. I think everyone has a little variation because it is how they feel. Its that togetherness and I think that speaks to our continuity.

I then asked him if he felt what we had here is unique?

I am sure there are examples in other leagues of popular teams but I think ours in unique because we are a small market team. We came out as an expansion team and struggled a little bit. We moved into this new building and had some success. We talk about creating a core of players that are integrated as part of this family. 

We kind of grew up together in a lot of  ways. We grew up in this small market and came together to take on the world. And we really have. From Monterrey to others in Concacaf and so on. I think there is a special feeling of togetherness that comes through. When I worked at the Philadelphia Eagles, people love that team and that town. It is part of the culture of that town. They feel like a family but it just feels bigger. Here it is more intimate.   

As he was talking I think Manning hit on something very interesting. He talked about togetherness. And he was right. If you had to boil all aspects of the RSL Family down to one word, I can't really think of anything better than togetherness.

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