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RSL staying positive headed into playoff showdown

SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Despite being down a goal, Real Salt Lake is feeling optimistic about their chances against the L.A. Galaxy tomorrow night in the MLS Playoffs.
SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Real Salt Lake knows it got outplayed in its MLS playoff opener Sunday night against the LA Galaxy. But despite being down a goal, RSL is staying positive.

"I hope we are optimistic," said head coach Jason Kreis. "Otherwise, what are we doing here? We're a goal down and we're at home. We have a chance to win the game, but at the very least, we get overtime and penalty kicks. I think the objective is very clear for us, and we're in a comfortable position being in our own stadium."

"We didn't have a good game against L.A. at their place," admitted defender Nat Borchers. "We played a different formation and we didn't execute it well. We gave them a lot of chances, but we're still in it."

Real must beat the Galaxy by at least one goal to force overtime. A two-goal victory means RSL moves on to the Western Conference Final. 

RSL knows it must score, but they also know they can't be overly aggressive because the Galaxy is one of the best counterattacking teams in the league.

"It's just one goal," said goalkeeper Nick Rimando. "We don't have to get it in the first minute. We can get it in the 90th minute and go to overtime. So, we don't have to press so early."

"Maybe the focus will be on some patience," added midfielder Kyle Beckerman. "I think sometimes we get into the games and we're wanting to get that win right away. I think maybe we're a little too anxious. We have 90 minutes to do it."

"We have to make sure that we keep playing good defense," said defender Chris Wingert. "This is going to be a long game and we're going to get our chances, so we have to make sure that we don't get too stretched out."

In its last three major do-or-die matches at home, RSL has not fared well. Real lost in the Champions League Final to Monterrey in 2011, the MLS playoffs to Seattle in 2012, and the U.S. Open Cup Final to D.C. United last month.

"We acknowledge that we haven't had great successes in big games in this stadium," Borchers said. "We need to change that, and it's got to change tomorrow night."

"The results haven't been going our way in these big matches," Rimando said. "But, maybe our time is due and tomorrow is the day. Because if it's not the day, then our season is done."

Midfielder Ned Grabavoy is out with a hamstring injury, but forward Joao Plata will be available after missing the first game with a leg injury.

RSL and the LA Galaxy battle it out in the second leg of their MLS playoff series Thursday night at 7:00 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

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