RSL ready for season opener after short off-season

SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Nearly three months to the day after a heartbreaking loss in the MLS Cup Final to Sporting Kansas City, Real Salt Lake gets the 2014 season underway this Saturday night on the road against the L.A. Galaxy.

"It feels good and we're excited to get the season started," said midfielder Luis Gil. "We didn't have much of an off-season, but it's always good to get back into it."

"It's kind of surreal to be back," added defender Nat Borchers. "We've only had a couple days at home since getting back from Tucson, and we're leaving on Thursday so we really haven't gotten settled in yet, but that's how the season goes."

"We always complain that preseason is too long, but now it feels like it's too short," said new head coach Jeff Cassar. "It feels like it's flown by, but I think guys are prepared, excited and ready for L.A."

This will be Cassar's first match as RSL's head coach, and he was asked how he's going to feel come Saturday night.

"I'll let you know Sunday," he said with a laugh. "I'm sure it's going to be really emotional. It's something I worked really hard for."

"He's the same Jeff that we all know," said goalkeeper Nick Rimando. "This is what the guys in the locker room wanted and we're all hungry."

Cassar does have some injury issues to deal with. Chris Schuler, Robbie Findley and Devon Sandoval all will not be available. But RSL is one of the deepest teams in the league, and Cassar will have plenty of options.

As far as style goes, Cassar says fans shouldn't expect a lot of changes from the way Jason Kreis ran the team.

"They're going to play with passion, and they're going to play good attractive soccer," he said. "That's what's been done in the past and I don't want to change all that."

"Offensively, we've seen a lot of good things and I think things will be a little bit sharper," said Borchers.

RSL will get a tough test right off the bat with a road game in Los Angeles. RSL eliminated the Galaxy from the MLS Playoffs in a thrilling series that went to extra time last November.

"There is no bigger test, for sure than to play against the L.A. Galaxy," said Borchers. "We've had some great battles with them in the past the last five or six years and last season especially. I think it's going to be a great match."

"A lot of the same guys are back," said Rimando. "We have a different coach, but we have the same mentality, the same goals and that's to win a championship."

You can watch RSL take on the L.A. Galaxy Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. on ABC4.

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