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Scott D. Pierce: MLS Cup video a welcome Real Salt Lake treat

Published: Friday, April 16 2010 12:26 a.m. MDT

The DVD release "It's for Real: Real Salt Lake MLS Cup 2009 Champions" is a must-have for the team's fans.

It's also unintentionally amusing in a couple of spots. And not just because team owner Dave Checketts looks sort of silly with a scarf draped around his neck as he sits down to be interviewed.

"It's for Real" lays it on a little thick in terms of how successful the team was. Obviously, Real did win the MLS Cup last season.

But the fact remains that RSL has yet to produce a particularly successful regular season. And, instead of playing up Real as the underdog who barely claimed the eighth and final playoff spot in 2009, we're instead told how great the team was.

Words like "glorious" are tossed around.

Much is made of the April 2, 2009, win over Columbus, and the April 25 win over New England. And there are some highlights from a 4-0 win over Chivas on Aug. 26.

But, other than that, the regular season is ignored. The next game highlighted is the regular-season finale, a triumph over Colorado.

Obviously, this is the story of a championship. And, other than those four wins, the team went only 6-11-7 in the regular season.

It would have helped build the underdog narrative had that not been ignored.

The best part of "It's for Real" is the highlights of the playoffs. The first-round elimination of the defending champion, Columbus. The Eastern Conference title game win over Chicago — complete with overtimes and a miraculous shootout.

The MLS Cup-winning victory over the L.A. Galaxy, complete with more overtimes and yet another miraculous shootout.

This is what fans are going to want to watch over and over again. It's very well done.

There's plenty of other material in the one-hour DVD. A brief history of the team. Brief profiles of the players. A quick look at the 2009 MLS All-Star Game, played in Rio Tinto Stadium.

A look at the MLS Cup celebrations — on the field and in the locker room in Seattle, when the team returned to the Salt Lake airport, and in Rio Tinto Stadium a few days later.

But it's that remarkable playoff run that remains most memorable. And most watchable.

THAT'S THE WAY IT WAS: It probably wasn't intentional, but the DVD does give us a flavor of how pro-Galaxy the ESPN telecast of the MLS Cup game was.

In the wake of a collision that left L.A. keeper Donovan Ricketts and RSL forward Robbie Findlay lying on the turf, ESPN announcer John Harkes declared, "Two players down, but the concern has to be for Donovan Ricketts."

Sure, if you're a Galaxy fan.

THAT'S WRONG: About 90 seconds into "It's for Real," we're told, "Real Salt Lake was formed in the hopes of bringing the state of Utah their first-ever professional sports championship."

In addition to the grammatical error in that sentence, it's just plain wrong. The Utah Stars won the ABA title in 1971.

e-mail: pierce@desnews.com

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