Markus Kothner running RSJ training. Not too long ago, Real San Jose Coach Markus Kothner said his team played games before a handful of fans and the team usually lost.

Things have improved dramatically since then and if Kothner has his way, things will get even better in the future.

On Saturday night, Real San Jose will make its first playoff appearance since 2010 when it plays CA Victory FC in the first round of the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) playoffs.

The game will be played at 7 p.m. at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa.

RSJ qualified for the playoffs by finishing fourth in the UPSL NorthWest regular season. It will face CA Victory FC, a team that beat RSJ 1-0 in their most recent meeting.

It will be tough to take down the regular season champions. However, Kothner said the team has a decent chance if its defense plays well.

The playoff appearance itself is a remarkable step forward for RSJ. It marks only the second time Real San Jose has appeared in the postseason. The first time came in 2010 when it competed as a member of the National Premier Soccer League.

Kothner said the team’s success defied his own projections. He said the team’s original goal was to identify a core group of 10-12 players on whom the team could build upon.

Instead, the team jelled.

Kothner said it helped the team played an exhibition game in Arizona before the season. That game played before 2,800 fans, TV cameras, and the home team’s cheerleaders was an eye-opener for some RSJ players who never played in such a prominent atmosphere.

RSJ might have lost, but it lost to a team with a member of the Costa Rican national team and a player who once played in the first division of the Mexican League. The Arizona team trained twice as much as RSJ.

The team’s practices were also more interesting, Kothner said.

The team’s success on the field led to an increase in the number of players attending practice. He said he no longer had to play players in games simply because they turned out to the game.

“The more successful you are, the more people will come out and see why you are successful,” Kothner said.

That kind of success, he said, is the sort of thing that brings out scouts from teams like the San Francisco Deltas, who might be thinking of signing new players.

RSJ’s playoff game is three days away. But Kothner said he and team owner Nick Arellano are already thinking of how they can build on this season’s success.

Anyone can join the team for a practice, he said. He said those practices have been held Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Ramac Park in San Jose.

But the first step in the RSJ future is that playoff game in Santa Rosa this weekend.

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Real San Jose will face CA Victory FC on July 15 in the first round of the UPSL playoffs. Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa.

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Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable: Avalos
RSJ fell 2-1 and finished 4th in the Northwest Division to setup a road playoff match in Santa Rosa vs CA Victory on July 15.
Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable: Avalos, Herredia
RSJ made their second trip to Raimondi Park in Oakland and played just as poorly as the first by letting a very winnable game slip bye as San Jose lost 5-4 to CD Pamperos.
Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable: Ponce, Herredia
RSJ raced out to a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes and went on to win 6-1 over FC Sacramento at PAL Stadium. Lorenzo Vasquez and Jose Mendoza each scored three. Alberto Garcia-Escamilla had three assists and Jose Avalos created two assists.
Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable: Rodriguez
RSJ raced out to a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes and went on to win 5-1 over IFX Ballistic at PAL Stadium. Lorenzo Vasquez scored three and Jorge Curiel and Jose Avalos both scored once.
Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable: Sanchez
RSJ lost the match 1-0 to unbeaten Victory FC. It was just one of those games with a missed penalty kick and the ball finding the post instead of the net.
Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable: Vasquez, Sanchez
RSJ earned three points in dramatic style by scoring the game-winning goal in the 89th minute. Brandon Hernandez scored from close range off a rebound from a shot by Angel Heredia. Alberto Escamilla scored a first-half goal off a corner delivered by Heredia.
Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable: Avalos, Heredia
RSJ lost 4-2 to Magic Valley FC in Filer Idaho. RSJ goals came from Lorenzo Vasquez and Cesar Rodriguez. The first half ended 2-2. With seven minutes remaining, Magic Valley took full advantage of a controversial referee call for a penalty against RSJ.
Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable:Curiel, Avalas
RSJ defeated Western Nevada 2-0. Goals were scored by Angel Heredia and Lorenzo Vasquez. RSJ played their best defensive game of the season.
Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable:Curiel, Avalos, F. Hession-Harris
RSJ defeated CD Pamperos 5-4. Lorenzo Vasquez scored four goals and we named UPSL Player of the Week.
Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable: Arellano, Curiel, Heredia, Blecher, F. Hession-Harris
RSJ defeated FC Sacramento 6-1. Jay Caines, Alberto Garcia, Fernando Sanchez each scored one goal. Lorenzo Vasquez came off the bench in the second half to score a hat trick.
Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable: Arellano, Gonzalez
Jose Avalos put RSJ up 1-0 in the first half. The lead help until the later stages when Victory FC scored three.
Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable: Steuer, Heredia, Avalos, Gonzalez, Moya, Martinez, Arellano, Blecher
RSJ pretty much gave this one away to CD Aguiluchos. After leading 1-0 late in the second half a defensive gaff against the run of play and a questionable second goal lost the game.
Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable: Heredia, Avalos, Gonzalez, F. Hession-Harris, T. Hession-Harris, Segivia, Caines
Boise came out firing on all cylinders and took a 3-0 lead into half time. The match ended with a 4-0 loss.
Real San Jose
Key injuries/unavailable: Steuer, Gonzalez
RSJ opened the season in exciting style at Western Nevada. RSJ lead 1-0 at the half behind a long range goal from Rene Segovia. Western Nevada scored twice in 10 minutes, and then Borga Moya tied the match that ended in 2-2.

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