Sandy, Utah – The weather was not great but the atmosphere at Rio Tinto Stadium was perfect as several Idaho Rush soccer families watched Real Salt Lake beat the New York Red Bulls, 2-0.
Parents, coaches and players from the U12-Black and several other teams braved difficult conditions on the road and during several friendly scrimmages with local teams over a two-day period.
The winds blew hard but it couldn’t dampen spirits as a great day of scrimmage games was followed by an exciting Real Salt Lake home opener and then a “surprise” autograph session with RSL left back Chris Wingert. The players were awed by the skills demonstrated on the pitch by both teams, including a narrowly missed goal from a bicycle kick by Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry.
Wingert’s great play on the field is complemented by his terrific personality. He graciously signed hundreds of autographs and took pictures with the players. He’s a role model for our Rush players in all age groups.
The activities continued into Sunday morning as the players met for an indoor training session with Rob Karas, RSL director of youth training camps. The training was a fitting finale to a great weekend in Utah. It was also a reminder that the road to the MLS starts with dribbling, juggling, headers and lots and lots of fun!
-- Ron Gambassi