Kreis unhappy with Real Salt Lake reserve showings

RSL coach finding few positives with half of 2012 Reserve League slate in the books

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake’s reserve squad dropped another match with a 3-0 home loss at the hands of FC Dallas on Tuesday. The loss leaves them with a dismal 0-4-1 record, and a coach that’s disappointed with the results and the performances.

“I’d like to give it as positive a spin as I can right now, but it’s difficult because I’m really not [pleased with the performances] and that’s disappointing,” Kreis told media after Tuesday’s training session, which followed the reserve match.

Even with young players like Chris Schuler, Sebastian Velasquez and Paulo Jr. – who have combined for 14 starts with the senior team in 2012, all of them crucial for a team that's juggled injuries to Nat Borchers, Javier Morales and Ned Grabavoy since the preseason – the squad was unable to avert a third straight loss in the Reserve League.

In the past, Kreis has been vocal about the necessity of the reserve team and how it can help teams to develop players. However, he doesn’t feel like they are making the progress that they need.

“It’s frustrating because we are a club, and I am a coach that believes very strongly in reserve matches, and we’re not getting the performance out of the players,” said Kreis. “I want to come out to these games and see performances that tell me that I’ve got players that are pushing for minutes, and I’ve got players that are demonstrating that they deserve more consideration. Right now nobody’s doing that.”

The RSL boss did confess that he has a relatively young squad competing in these matches, but he’s not willing to accept that as an excuse. Especially since many of the youngsters will be counted on all season to keep RSL in the Supporters' Shield race.

“I do think it’s a product of that,” he admitted. “Ultimately it’s still troubling as a coach because even though they’re new I think all of those players have been with us an entire preseason and should be starting to show you signs that they’re getting it. That’s not so much happening.”

The most troubling aspect is that the trademark RSL style of play doesn’t seem to come through. The calm, quick passing, probing for open spaces, appears to have at times been forgotten for a game of panicked hot-potato. 

“Today most of the breakdowns were what we did with the ball, actually,” assessed Kreis. “We got scored on three times but I think one for sure came off a really poor giveaway. And there are just too many of those technical mistakes happening in those matches that I’ve seen.”

And for a team in the hunt, that's a problem.