The opening eight days of the 2012 Major League Soccer season have been nothing short of a dream for Real Salt Lake.
The players, however, are quick to remember how important to keep an even keel, despite the early success.
"At times we've been really good, at times we can get better, but I think that's just the early season blues," midfielder Kyle Beckerman said. "Getting wins and still knowing that we need to improve is a good thing."
Real has looked pretty solid for about 60 minutes of each of its first two matches in gaining results over defending MLS champion Los Angeles on the road and New York Saturday night at home.
In Saturday's home match against the Red Bulls, RSL was especially crisp during the opening 45 minutes, as the home side repeatedly strung together lengthy passing sequences that kept the visitors chasing.
"I still think we need to improve on the number of players we are getting forward and involved in our attacks," Real boss Jason Kreis said. "We have some nice fluid movements to get the ball up to our forwards and we need more players to do that than just Luis Gil, and he was often times late in his running to support the forwards. We need to have two or three midfielders and always an outside back involved."
With playmaking midfielder Javier Morales and forward Alvaro Saborio still playing just limited minutes as they recover from injuries, it stands to reason that Real will improve in that area as those two players, as well as a handful of others still recovering, fully rejoin the lineup.
"We've always been the type of team to not get too far ahead of ourselves," goalkeeper Rimando said. "It's still early and we've got a lot of work to do. There are a lot of games left, and we can always play better.
"We're always looking for points, no matter where we play. We need to come out and keeping working hard for each other."
As Real Salt Lake made its 2012 debut at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, so did Branden Steineckert's "Believe" chant, which has rapidly become adopted as an RSL fan favorite and the club's anthem. The Real supporters groups energetically got into singing the chant early, taking a march around the Rio Tinto concourse level, before continuing from their seats during the final run-up to kickoff.
That energy and intensity wasn't lost on Kreis or his players.
"It was awesome to hear," Rimando said. "The entire crowd chanting in unison like that; it was definitely a special feeling."
Added Kreis: "Hats off to the fans tonight for getting here early; they were there from the kickoff. Everyone singing together, it was a special night for sure and that's what I told the players."
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