SANDY, Utah—The goals will come.
Even as he limped out of the locker room at Rio Tinto Stadium on Sunday evening following a 0-0 draw with Sporting Kansas City, Yura Movsisyan said he still believes that his team can score with the sort of frequency and intensity it did early in the season.
And the Real Salt Lake striker -- who came out early in the second half, after being kicked in a bruised heel that has sidelined him for much of the past month -- said he’s confident his team will start finding the back of the net again soon.
They need to.
In picking up a home point, Real Salt Lake sit fourth in the Western Conference -- but going into Decision Day, RSL will need a win to keep that prime seed. A draw or a loss have various other implications, including the possibility of missing the playoffs for the second year in a row.
“So yeah, we need to score,” Movsisyan said, “but what I know about this team is that we need to believe we can score. And we still do believe. Completely.”
That belief comes in spite of the fact that RSL hit a rather unfortunate waypoint on Sunday evening. The Claret-and-Cobalt have now failed to score in three consecutive home games — for the first time since 2006.
The last time RSL had such bad luck hitting its home nets was a season before before Nick Rimando, Javier Morales and Kyle Beckerman arrived in Utah. That trio was honored Sunday for completing its 10th season with RSL.
Salt Lake coach Jeff Cassar said he also believes that his team’s offensive misfortunes will turn around, while acknowledging his players need a confidence booster.
“Let’s be honest,” Cassar said. “You can’t go three or four games without scoring and exude confidence.”
He said his team simply has to “find a way — and it doesn’t have to be beautiful.”
Midfielder Luke Mulholland, whose shot from distance midway into the second half sailed high and wide, said RSL is indeed trying everything it can to find a way to score.
“We’ve just got to keep working,” he said. “And we did that today, all the way to the last kick of the game.”
RSL’s scoring struggles were personified in the 55th minute, when Movsisyan found himself in the box with a ball underfoot and an open look at the goal. He struggled on his first touch, and by the time he’d gained control, the space had collapsed.
Movsisyan said he was having a hard time turning on his bruised heel. He was far from the team’s only option, though.
In his first start since September 10, and second since re-joining the club in August following a lengthy rehab, defender Chris Schuler got his head on two crosses -- missing both just wide.
Cassar said he’ll be looking for more opportunities like that next week. RSL's playoff aspirations ride on finishing them.