SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis took a moment Friday to clarify the comments he made immediately after a 2-0 loss at Livestrong Park against Sporting KC earlier this week, backtracking from an ultimatum that the club is currently "at a precipice for our season right now."
RSL dropped their second loss in a row during against SKC on Wednesday, prompting Kreis to suggest that a third consecutive loss in the team's game against New York on Saturday (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online) would be "monstrously bad."
Kreis said Friday, however, that he didn't intend that a loss, in and of itself, would have disastrous results. Instead, he felt that it was important to change the trajectory of the club at this point in the season.
“It’s crucial for our confidence, and I would say nothing else,” Kreis said. “I was very outspoken after the last game and said some things about how critical this match could be, and I don’t think it was clearly understood. Because I don’t think our season is over if we lose this game, because certainly it’s not.
"There are a lot of points on the table. Our record is still good," he added. "We’re still in a very good position even if we drop this game, but confidence-wise, we need a performance. I don’t know that the result is the most important and critical thing at the moment, but we need a performance.”
Kreis went on to explain that RSL need a "true effort" against the visiting Red Bulls, who have won just once in their last five league games. RSL, meanwhile, are currently fifth in the Western Conference standings, one point behind regional rivals Colorado and 12 points off the pace of the frontrunning LA Galaxy.
“We need a performance where we stick together and stick to the game plan, and understand that there’s a way that Real Salt Lake plays," Kreis said. "We’ve played it for a very long time now, and it’s worked for a very long time now, so there’s no reason to be running away from it now.”
A loss Saturday would be RSL's third at home this season after finishing undefeated in 15 games at Rio Tinto last season. RSL have not lost three consecutive games since they lost four straight in July 2007, just after Kreis first took over as coach of the team.
Kreis insisted, however, that this is no time for panic.
“It wasn’t that I was saying this is a doomsday situation. What I was saying is that we need a solid performance to move our confidence forward," Kreis said. "I don’t think if we lose this game it’s the end of the season, but I do think that we need an all-out, together effort from our group to move forward.”