LEHI, Utah — If there were ever a time to iron out a team’s road woes, right about now would work well for Real Salt Lake.
Unfortunately, they are sliding down the table rather than climbing (currently fifth in the West), and they face eight of their final 12 matches away from the comforts of home.
And that’s where the problem comes in. They have nine points in nine road matches this season, which is roughly just a third off of their pace for road points a year ago, but after winning the first two away games this year, they have only picked up three points in their last seven road matches.
And for head coach Jason Kreis, that’s becoming a problem.
“I think that we’re a strong enough team that we shouldn’t have the road record that we have right now,” said Kreis. “It should be better.
“It’s a really difficult situation sometimes, because I preach to these guys so much that our biggest focus is just how we perform, and I feel like if they perform well, we don’t want to ever be too focused on the results,” he added. “And that’s a little bit of a paradox, because really it’s the results that matter, isn’t it?”
To truly evaluate how well they've done on the road requires analysis beyond simply looking at the results, according to the coach.
“I think it would be easy to say we have to be better on the road,” Kreis said. “But what’s more methodical is to actually look at all of the games and say, ‘How did we do?’ and look at all the circumstances that we’ve been up against.”
Kreis couldn’t quite pinpoint why the results are harder to come by on the road, especially when at times he's felt that his team has played well enough to get the results.
“For whatever reason, I think you do tend to get a break here or there that tend to go your way when you’re at home,” he said. “There are a lot of x-factors that go into it. I don’t know if I can put my finger on it exactly, it just feels like you get more bounces that are better bounces when you’re at home.”