Kreis finds cause for concern despite crushing RSL win

Poor first half and injuries vex Salt Lake coach

One would assume that after watching his side win 3-0, the victors would be all smiles. But Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis saw several reasons to frown following RSL’s thumping of the Philadelphia Union.

Watch: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

First was his disappointment with the team’s performance in the first 45, despite the fact that they took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.

“I really felt like Philadelphia was the better team in the first half,” he explained. “I thought we were very fortunate to have a lead at all. That doesn’t make me happy at all. I thought Philadelphia wanted the game more in the first half and that’s unacceptable.”

Club captain Kyle Beckerman netted the lone goal of the opening stanza. Kreis singled him out for his consistent performance

“He was an absolute monster the entire match,” Kreis said. “He was one of two or three players that I thought in the first half was committed, and led by example. He was all over the park, winning balls and completing passes.”

Kreis viewed the goal as an appropriate reward for Beckerman’s commitment.

“I appreciate when guys score goals and they deserve it,” the coach said. “It was great to see him get the goal.”

Coming out of the break, things changed. RSL managed nine shots, with four of them on goal in the second half as they challenged their former ‘keeper Chris Seitz. Jamison Olave and Alvaro Saborío scored to put the game out of reach.

“What we saw was a fantastic reaction in the second half, and we ended up getting what we deserved and what we worked for,” Kreis said.

The second concern in the victory is the injury situation. With Ned Grabavoy and Fabian Espindola already sitting due to injury, and Nelson Gonzalez out with illness, RSL came into the match hoping to leave unscathed. Unfortunately Robbie Findley picked up a bruise to his lower back after receiving a knee in the backside. He subbed off in the 38th minute.

In addition, Olave continued his recent string of spending some nervous moments contending with knocks.

“Another game where he goes down two or three times with pain,” Kreis said. “I’m concerned.”

In the end, though, the side gets three points for the second straight week, which always offers solace for a coach’s inevitable concerns.