SANDY, Utah -- Real Salt Lake Coach Jason Kreis was clearly unhappy with the scoreless draw on Friday night against the San Jose Earhquakes at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“We’re very frustrated," he said. "We’re very disappointed. The only thing that I can attribute it to is maybe a little bit of complacency.”
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Although both teams came off an extended break during the World Cup group stage, the coach didn’t want to hear that as an excuse.
“I don’t want to blame it on the break," Kreis said. "I don’t want to blame it on anything other than we didn’t pay attention to the details tonight.”
An interesting theory was raised that Kreis felt may have come into play with tonight’s performance, “The last World Cup I remember in ’06 – I was playing at that time, and it was a little bit difficult to be watching that spectacle and then to show up and play yourself.”
However, Kreis felt that the real problem with his team tonight was the play he observed out on the pitch. He said he saw “a team that felt like we’ve arrived, and felt like all we had to do was show up on the field tonight and we’d be given three points.”
Despite all of the disappointment in Friday's result, there were a few positives. Real Salt Lake is now unbeaten in their last eight matches, and unbeaten in their last 17 home matches.
In addition, goalkeeper Nick Rimando registered his 65th career clean sheet (fourth in MLS history) and has an active shutout streak of 318 minutes (second longest in team history). He made two stellar saves late in the match in order to reach the marks. First, there was an athletic stop on a blast by Cornell Glen from about 12 yards out, and then he made a last second leap to get a hand on a dipping shot from long-distance by Javier Robles.
According to Kreis, those stops were huge. “At the end of the game, you pat Nick Rimando on the back and say 'you just saved us'.”
RSL midfielder Andy Williams agreed. “I’m glad Nicky [Rimando] didn’t have any rust in him. He bailed us out on those last two shots and made good saves.”
The team also created some opportunities, with numerous attacks down the left side in the first half featuring Fabian Espindola. However, the team was lacking that final bit of quality in the final third to capitalize on their looks at goal.
Williams feels like the key now is to look forward.
"Hopefully we get this week to get this out of the way and get back in sync next week," said the veteran Jamaican.