There was a lot of doom and gloom going around prior to Real Salt Lake’s 1-0 victory over Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center on Saturday.
A spell that left them with four losses out of the previous five matches heading into the weekend had prompted some serious talk from head coach Jason Kreis and some even thougher talk from some of the players, but one single idea that kept racing through the team’s collective mind.
Kyle Beckerman put it all succinctly: “We’re one win away from being happy.”
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They got that win against Chivas USA, and suddenly everything looks a little bit brighter. And their victory, coupled with a Colorado loss at Chicago, puts them just two points from pulling level with the Rapids in fourth place in the Western Conference, and RSL have four games in hand on their Rocky Mountain rivals.
“I’m really, really pleased,” Kreis said of the win. “Just pleased with the response that we got from the group tonight, pleased that they came out with such a positive mentality, pleased that they worked so incredibly hard and pleased that they stayed together and believed.”
Kreis acknowledged that the red card ejection of Nat Borchers in the 24tg minute, coupled with the recent losing streak that the squad has endured, could have resulted in a breaking point for the club.
“For me, it’s just the guys believing,” Kreis said. “It takes a lot of belief to go down a man as early as we did. It takes a lot of belief from the guys, a lot of willingness to stay together as a unit. To be through the stretch we’ve just been through, it would be extremely easy [to have not believed], and I think eighty or ninety percent of the teams in this league couldn’t have been as mentally tough as we were.”
Goalkeeper Nick Rimando warned that although this is a positive result, it doesn’t change everything overnight.
“We had a couple bad games,” Rimando said. “I think this is a good win for sure, we showed a lot of guts for us. But we’re capable of these type of results and just this game isn’t going to turn our season around. I think it’s everybody pitching in every game.”