Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis isn't interested in moral victories.
RSL twice looked as though they would earn their first-ever win in Houston, going ahead in the 28th and 60th minutes, but they ultimately succumbed to a stoppage-time goal to allow the Dynamo eke out a 3-2 win on Saturday.
The result has become a microcosm of sorts for RSL's recent form.
“We are a reeling team right now, and when something goes wrong it affects us more than it should," Kreis told ESPN700 Sports Radio in Salt Lake City after the match.
Kreis' team has now lost three out of its last four matches, a run that has dented their confidence and has them questioning everything about their game. But for Kreis, the questions may extend much further than just sorting out their current form.
“There have been a lot of players that have gotten a whole ton of opportunities, and a lot of them quite frankly aren’t getting the job done,” he said. “Unless we get this turned around here and start heading in a positive direction for the playoffs, there’s going to be a lot of difficult decisions to make this offseason.”
Houston scored three goals on the night, each one of them daggers. The first came early in the second half as Brian Ching put away a pass from Brad Davis, and Kreis said he thought the timing of the goal was key to how the rest of the night played out.
“Obviously when you give away a goal at the beginning of the second half so early, that’s really going to affect your momentum," Kreis said. "I think we yielded a little bit from that, and I felt like for most of the rest of the night we took a pretty defensive posture and put lots of numbers behind the ball—which meant they were going to get spaces on their wings, and be able to serve the ball in all day. And that’s not the way we play.”
Kreis also refused to accept the hot and humid Houston weather as an excuse, even though it was above 90 degrees at kickoff.
“It was warm and it was humid, but it’s been a lot warmer and a lot more humid in several of our games earlier this year," Kreis said. "I just think it’s a little bit more the mentality.”
The RSL boss admitted he thinks that it’s good for his squad to feel the pain associated with this loss.
“I think this one has to sting," he said. "I’m a little bit speechless myself. I think it’s important that the guys feel how much that hurts, and feel what happens when you don’t complete a job.”