Real Salt Lake's Jeff Cassar critical of attacking players in Houston loss

Zero shots on goal.

The stat jumps out like a sore thumb, but it’s reflective of the way Real Salt Lake played against the Houston Dynamo in their eventual 1-0 road loss Sunday.

Real Salt Lake head coach Jeff Cassar wanted his team to disrupt the Dynamo, a team who he says, “was feeling a little hard done lately” in losing four of their last five matches entering Sunday's encounter. But ultimately, Real Salt Lake admit they couldn’t match the Dynamo for quality on the day.

“We just weren’t good enough in any of the areas today,” Cassar said. “We spoke at halftime that it was probably going to come down to one play.”

Cassar couldn’t have been more right.

A Joe Willis goal kick in the 65th minute that went over the heads of RSL's defenders was flicked forward by Giles Barnes, who then slotted it past Real Salt Lake keeper Jeff Attinella.

The game was a tale of two halves for Salt Lake, who looked more cohesive in the first half, but they faded under humid conditions after the halftime break.

“I do think we fatigued,” said Cassar, who still felt that his backline defended well on the day. “I just didn’t think our front four [attackers] were defending the way we typically have been and we weren’t good enough on the offensive end to not defend.”

Real Salt Lake lined up in a 4-3-3 with regular starters Joao Plata, Juan Martinez and Yura Movsisyan up top. For Plata, it was a return to the starting lineup as he replaced academy product Jordan Allen, who nabbed a goal and assist when the two teams last met on April 30.

But with the offense looking stagnant on Sunday, Cassar has already cautioned his team that next week’s practice will be a hard one.

“I’m going to put together a very competitive week and the guys that are winning and working hard, will play,” said Cassar. “It doesn’t matter what their names are.”