Real Salt Lake needs to rebound from a devastating loss in a hurry if the side wants to contend for the Supporters’ Shield.
The MLS Cup Playoffs are a month away so Jason Kreis’ men have some time to get their heads right before that competition, but Saturday’s match with FC Dallas is a must-win if the claret and cobalt want a shot at the regular season title.
That means a quick turnaround with a good result, unlike the flat performance in Portland three days following the 2011 Champion’s League loss.
How are they going to do it? It will certainly help that Dallas is on the verge of collapse itself following a gutting loss against the Columbus Crew last weekend.
It will also help that the US Open Cup simply isn’t the Champion’s League. Losing is frustrating and heartbreaking, but it’s a different order of magnitude.
Finally, it will help that this match is one where Salt Lake will still be favored. It’s a home match and a chance for a portion of redemption. As for where the team will find solutions, coach Jason Kreis said he doesn’t necessarily have all the answers himself, but he is ok with that.
“This will be a moment where I’m going to look to the players for answers,” Kreis said. “I believe that this team has what it takes to win all of our remaining matches and put ourselves in the very best possible spot to win the Supporters’ Shield…. I believe and I hope they [the players] still do as well.”
He may have found his champion for moving forward in Nat Borchers. While many players stayed in the showers and avoided media Tuesday night, Borchers willingly came out and talked frankly about the situation. His tone was down but not defeated.
“This team’s got a choice right now. We can let this thing bring us down and affect our future results or we can put it behind us and move on,” Borchers said. “We’ve still got a lot to play for and a lot to be proud of. We’ve still got a very good team.”
Time will tell if Jason Kreis’ men are still up for the challenge of competing for the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup. Saturday isn’t very long to wait…