SANDY, Utah – A third draw on a three-game homestand full of offensive frustration has Real Salt Lake flummoxed as to why the scoreboard doesn't reflect the flow of play on the field.

“Am I happy the way that we’re creating and playing right now, or do I wish we were playing like crap and scoring 3 or 4 goals a game?” Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke asked after Saturday's 0-0 draw against the Houston Dynamo.

“It’s the yin and the yang right now," he said, "so I haven’t decided which way I would prefer. I enjoy the way we’re playing, but we’re just not finding the net."

Those six points dropped in total could stymie RSL in their bid to make the playoffs. Saturday will seem like a particularly wasted opportunity, when even playing up a man for 30 minutes wasn’t enough to help Salt Lake find a goal against Houston. 

“We didn’t do enough in transition to break them down and get behind them before they got in their shape,” Petke said.

Possessing the ball for twice as long as they Dynamo didn’t yield results, so as RSL head out on the road they may try to turn up the tempo even more than they already have.

“We’re going to have play the way we’re playing and push it a bit more without leaving ourselves vulnerable,” Petke said.

After earlier season struggles, Salt Lake at least has a foundation to build off that was absent in an earlier 5-1 loss to Houston this season. And the Claret and Cobalt have won their last two road games by a combined score of 10-3, though that's also what made the ensuing homestand so frustrating.

“Three points in three home games when you’re already behind the eight ball is not enough,” Salt Lake defender Chris Wingert said. “At the same time, there were some positives to take out of it. We have been playing better. We were unfortunate not to get on the scoresheet and win the game. We‘re five games unbeaten. I guess there are some good things to take out of it.”

Even with the missed 6 points, Salt Lake may not yet be out of the playoff race.

“With the parity in the league we’re still not that far out of it,” Wingert said. “We just have to keep pushing and get a result on the road next week.”

For Petke, it’s about competitive approach over the last 10 games more than it is about mathematics.

“Ten games left, I’m not pushing the panic button, I never panic,” Petke said. “I’m going to compete as well as these guys are going to compete until the last day of the season.”