CARSON, Calif. — Real Salt Lake are in a familiar position heading into Thursday's Western Conference Semifinals second leg against the LA Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium (9 pm ET, ESPN2, TSN2 in Canada).
Trailing 1-0, Salt Lake need a goal. At least one goal. Which doesn't sound like a lot. But the Claret-and-Cobalt have been in this position a lot. And they've come away without anything to show for it other than heartbreak.
“We've been in situations like this before,” defender Nat Borchers told reporters following Sunday's first leg. “We definitely haven't gotten the results we needed to in big games.”
WATCH: LAvRSL postgame show
Big games that include the 2008 Western Conference Championship and a 2010 Conference Semifinal. A single goal would have given RSL the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League title; a single goal would have sent the team to the next round of CCL play a year later. A single goal in the 2013 US Open Cup final would have sent the game to overtime.
RSL played all those games at home, pressing for a goal as time ticked away. And they came up short every time. It's happened so often coach Jason Kreis won't even talk about it.
“I have no thoughts about it,” Kreis said in response a question from MLSsoccer.com. “I'm not going to talk about it. Zero. The end.”
A rather strong answer in the form of a non-answer, as it turns out. Once again, Salt Lake's season is on the line. Kreis doesn't want to talk about it, but his players know what they have to do.
“We'll approach it the way we do every game,” defender Tony Beltran told reporters. “We have such confidence in our strikers ... and the goals will come.”
- Get more Real Salt Lake news at RealSaltLake.com
Borchers echoed those thoughts.
“I think the onus is on us just to come out, be aggressive, play our game at home and get that first goal,” he said. “And everything's going to fall in place from there.”
RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando acknowledged that his team needs to score, but pointed out that that's true of any playoff game, two legs or not.
“Well, we needed a goal anyway,” Rimando told reporters. “No matter what. if we want to go through. Now we've got to go home, score a goal, tie it up. Just look for the first one, really. And when the first one comes, then we can think about the second one.”