No matter how you look at it, June was a magical month for Real Salt Lake.
Undefeated across six matches in two different competitions, a sold-out crowd filling Rio Tinto Stadium for a U.S. Men's National match in World Cup qualification, and capped off with its first-ever win on Canadian soil.
Imbued with the momentum of seven-match homestand, Salt Lake has rocketed to the top of the Major League Soccer table, its offense clearly firing on all cylinders and its defense locking down foes like a prison warden.
Life is indeed good for the Claret-and-Cobalt, and now a new challenge arises.
After playing seven of its last eight at home, RSL now enters a stretch where it will face four of six on the road, including a massive showdown with current MLS No. 2 -- FC Dallas -- in Frisco, Texas, on July 13, and the finale of the 2013 iteration of the Rocky Mountain Cup at Commerce City, Colo., on Aug. 3
"(We need to) just come out and play like we have at home," RSL forward Robbie Findley said. "It doesn't matter that we're away from home, we've got to come with the same mentality. Focus on the strengths and go out and play our game."
From the start of the season, Real Salt Lake has impressed pundits around the MLS with its depth, and for the Utah side to find continued success as the calendar officially passes into July, it will have to lean heavily on that depth.
Goalkeeper Nick Rimando, forward Alvaro Saborio, outside defender Tony Beltran and defensive midfielder Kyle Beckerman will be off the board for roster selected for at least three of RSL's four matches this month, including Wednesday's key clash with Philadelphia in Sandy.
Injuries have also done their share of damage to that depth, with central defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe out for the season after surgery, and central defender Chris Schuler out indefinitely with injury.
Despite absences leaving large holes to fill on the field, Real has often been defined in recent years by its ability to have continued success while dealing with adversity.
In fact, Salt Lake's recent run of offensive form -- the Utah side has scored 31 goals in 12 matches across all competitions -- is a testament to that, with Saborio scoring just one of those goals and playing all of 210 minutes due to injury and Costa Rican national team duty.
"We do our defense first, and from that we create our offense," Findley said. "We just have to continue to be sharper."
RSL's defense allowed just three goals during June, and only one of those -- a fluke bounce that landed at the feet of L.A. forward Landon Donovan's feet during RSL's 3-1 win over the Galaxy -- came during MLS play.
"I think that, at the beginning, we said that it was going to take some time," RSL boss Jason Kreis said. "It takes time to learn and get a good understanding. I feel like we're in a pretty good spot right now with all of that."
Heading into one of its most challenging stretches of the season, Salt Lake is in a pretty good spot too.
You can follow Justin Johnson on Twitter at: @jjohnson801 or email him at email@example.com.