More than just wins, RSL wants to do it "in our way" on road
SANDY, Utah — In the two months since their season-opening win at San Jose, Real Salt Lake have earned exactly one point in four road games.
To be one of the best teams in MLS, they know they have to start collecting points away from Rio Tinto Stadium, and the aim is to begin with Wednesday night's game at the New England Revolution (6:00 pm MT; CW30).
"We know we have struggled, but we're not that far away either," midfielder Luis Gil told MLSsoccer.com following the team's win over Vancouver last weekend. "We have played really well, in stretches, in some of those road games. And we are coming off a positive result in the last one."
In the interim, there’s been a three-game homestand in which the Claret-and-Cobalt went 2-1-0 and worked themselves into pretty good form despite missing their all-time leading goalscorer, Álvaro Saborío.
Missing pieces – up top, in midfield and at the back – have played their role in the Jekyll-and-Hyde act RSL have done on the road. But with players like Gil – who, at all of 19 years old, is in his fourth year as a pro – becoming veterans, the hope is that consistency will follow.
"I think we just need to take what we have done here at home play that same way on the road," said Gil. "I mean, it's not like the game changes just because we are on the road. We still step out on the field and need to do the same things to be successful."
One thing RSL are changing to try to reverse their road woes is the way they prepare. In their last few away games, they’ve flown into the city the day before the game.
For the two road games this week – after facing New England on Wednesday, RSL travel to play at the Montreal Impact on Saturday – the team flew to the Boston area on Monday and then trained there on Tuesday. After Wednesday night's game, they will fly directly to Montreal, where they will train for a couple of days.
Whatever the method, RSL simply know they must find something that will help them produce results on the road.
"We aren't that far away," Gil said. "I think if we can just play our game, keep possession, be dangerous and then capitalize on our chances, then we could obviously start winning games on the road. And not just getting a result, but winning and doing it in our way."