clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

RSL Notebook: Pressure means opportunity for Real Salt Lake

SANDY — After disappointing draws in its last two home matches, Real Salt Lake is feeling pressure to string results together for a late-season playoff push.

However, rather than wilt under it, midfielder Kyle Beckerman said that the team should respond positively.

“There’s pressure every game," he said, adding, "Pressure’s a good thing. If there’s pressure, that means there’s an opportunity.”

Coach Mike Petke agreed, saying that he's been preaching opportunity to the team for weeks now.

He said the team has a number of points in the standings the team has circled to get into the playoffs, but now each match he believes the team has a chance to get itself back to where staff believes the group deserves to be.

"I thrive under pressure. I know someone like Kyle (Beckerman) and most of these guys thrive under pressure. We see what’s ahead of us. We see four points puts us back in the thick," he said.

As for the group, despite two draws, spirits are high. Beckerman said the group believes in itself.

“I think the good thing is we are disappointed in not winning at home. And that’s a stride, I think we’re heading in the right direction with our mentality,” he said.

Trying to not focus on the past with Houston;

In its most-recent match with the Houston Dynamo, on May 31, RSL walked away with a 5-1 road loss, one of the most disappointing results of the season.

With home-field advantage, and a roster complete with many of the players that missed the Texas road trip earlier in the summer, the team is confident that it can turn the results around on Saturday.

Asked if the game had any special meaning after the last meaning, defender Tony Beltran said though the team is preparing as if it is just another game, the past defeat still stings slightly.

“It’s going to be in the back of your mind a little bit,” he said.

But, because it has been over two months since that game, he said the focus is more about looking forward that backward.

Despite the scoring margin, Beckerman said it is important to avenge any loss, and get three points.

“Any team that we lose to, no matter what the score is, we want to get back and try to even the series,” he said.

Capitalizing on chances is key;

With over 64 percent possession against Columbus, RSL has proven an ability to dictate the pace and flow of games and has created numerous chances on the offensive end.

Beckerman and Petke were in agreement that the team did enough to win both of its last two contests, but finishing plays with goals will be important to future success.

"We're on the ball, holding the possession, and the other team's trying to sit in and counter. So it's about how do we continue to get better at that when we're dictating the game," Beckerman said.

Forward Luis Silva had a few solid touches on the ball Saturday, but he struck one shot off the post and another off the lone defender in goal.

Though Silva has not scored as many as he would like to, Petke believes that his skill on the ball, drawing defenders to him, has been crucial to the offensive runs the team has made thus far. With more practice and time with the same core roster the team has had for a few weeks, he said the scoring chances will take care of themselves.

“I think more goals are coming for Luis. I think more goals are coming for everybody," Petke said.