SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake welcome the Montreal Impact on Wednesday evening (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online), sitting on top of the Western Conference and high on confidence after their dramatic last-gasp victory over Portland.
But despite the feel-good factor flowing through the RSL locker room, head coach Jason Kreis was quick to play down the memorable win in Portland last Saturday night and called for focus.
“I think it’s big, but we need to continue to stay even keel,” Kreis told Salt Lake’s ABC-affiliate, KTVX immediately after Saturday’s match. “We didn’t win any trophies tonight.”
Since the start of the season, Kreis has spoken about his side not getting too high with the wins or too low when defeats roll around. He felt his squad was victim of that last season when they got swept up in their CONCACAF Champions League successes before everything came crashing down during the MLS regular season.
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Captain Kyle Beckerman echoed his manager’s sentiments, urging his teammates to take one game at a time.
“It’s just a win – same as the other ones,” midfielder Kyle Beckerman explained after the win against the Timbers. “The most important one now is the game on Wednesday.”
While that may seem cliché, there is reason for concern against the expansion side from Montreal. Most would assume there is a talent differential between Salt Lake and the newcomers still trying to build a cohesive squad, but a similar situation existed two weeks ago when RSL suffered a shock loss at home to Chivas USA.
After that match, RSL founder and owner Dave Checketts told a local radio program that he had been worried about the Chivas match, and that the mentality of the squad maybe wasn’t right.
Kreis doesn’t want to see that happen again, and mentioned to ESPN700 Sports Radio that he has some concern about the visiting Impact squad, who come to town fresh off a 5-2 loss to New York Red Bulls.
“I think they are going to come in here and compete,” Kreis said. “They are coming off a very disappointing result. Because of that I think there’s going to be a special amount of hunger reserved for us on Wednesday night.”