For sports fans, 2013 was full of change, controversy and disappointment

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 31 2013 5:59 p.m. MST

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Changes began for RSL in January of 2013 when Real Salt Lake founder Dave Checketts sold his interest in the team to minority partner and Utah businessman Dell Loy Hansen. Then came the trades of Jamison Olave, Fabian Espindola and Will Johnson. The men, who were key to the team’s five-year playoff streak, had to go because of salary cap restraints. Olave and Espindola helped New York earn the Supporters' Shield, while Johnson helped Portland claim the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. But behind goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who won his second consecutive MLS Save of the Year honor, Real Salt Lake played for the league’s top prize in December — the MLS Cup.

It was bitterly cold when the two teams met Dec. 7 on Sporting Kansas City’s home field, but the game was a thriller. The game was decided in a shootout — 10 rounds — the longest in MLS Cup history. The team was met by hundreds of RSL fans grateful for a winning season when they began with such modest expectations.

As expected, as soon as the season ended, head coach Jason Kreis, the face of the franchise for so long, took over the expansion team New York City FC. Longtime assistant Jeff Cassar was hired as head coach 11 days after Real’s loss to Kansas City.

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Las Vegas, NV

2013 was a pretty sad year in the state. But the Lady Utes made it to the NIT Championship game, which should have been included in this article.

Salt Lake City, UT

The best sports story of 2013 for the state of Utah was Ziggy and Star both being drafted in the first round and going on to have great rookie seasons. I guess Lone Peak basketball was pretty cool too. If RSL had won, that would have been really cool too, instead only somewhat cool. Other than that, it seems that the sports year was pretty "meh". The 3 FBS football programs are all pretty average (one is below average and this one happened to use luck to beat the two average ones making things even worse), the Division I teams are all average at best (with the one that should be the best out of the in-state programs severely under performing, especially in December). Finally, the NBA team in the state is in tanking mode. 2013 was horrible. Also no sports teams in the state really matter except for the Jazz, Real Salt Lake, NCAA Mens Basketball, NCAA Football, and (maybe) High School Mens Basketball and Football. That is why it is okay that the Lady Utes were not mentioned, they do not fall in to a sports category that is or should be deemed "important".

Bountiful, UT

Lone Peak High School winning the basketball National Championship was probably the #1 sports story last year. #2 would be the rise of Ziggy Ansah as the 5th overall pick in the NFL draft.

Some other good stories:

BYU Men's Rugby winning back to back National Championships and #1 rankings (and 3rd National Championship in 5 yrs)
BYU Women's Soccer losing in the NCAA Quarterfinals
BYU Men's Volleyball playing in the National Championship game

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