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Real Salt Lake could use goal or two from recently re-signed Kreilach on Wednesday to avoid another home loss

Losers of two straight at home, RSL looks to avoid first three-game skid at home since expansion 2005 season

SHARE Real Salt Lake could use goal or two from recently re-signed Kreilach on Wednesday to avoid another home loss
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Real Salt Lake midfielder Damir Kreilach (8) celebrates a goal as Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles FC play an MLS game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SANDY — Following Real Salt Lake’s 5-0 drubbing to Colorado last week, it was Damir Kreilach who was asked to face the media and explain how the worst home loss in franchise history even happened.

The ultimate gentlemen, Kreilach accepted his responsibility, apologized to the fans and then said he’d remain positive and upbeat looking ahead to the next game.

For those who’ve followed the team since Kreilach’s arrival in 2018, the response was exactly what you’d expect from one of the classiest players in MLS.

“Dami is a guy that’s a real culture setter in our locker room.” — RSL general manager Elliott Fall, on Damir Kreilach

His willingness to do the hard things, be a leader in the locker room and score big goals are among the many reasons Real Salt Lake re-signed the Croatian to a multi-year contract extension last week that keeps him with the club through the 2022 season, with an option for 2023.

“Dami is a guy that’s a real culture setter in our locker room,” said RSL general manager Elliott Fall.

“He’s a perfect leader for our group, he fits extraordinarily well culturally into what we’re doing. He’s a winner, and a guy who steps up in the biggest moments and produces for us.”

The exact details of the contract weren’t released, but the club did say Kreilach will make above the maximum salary next year. That means RSL must use an allocation money to buy this salary down to fit under the salary cap next season or sign him to a designated player contract.

“From the moment I came to Real Salt Lake, it felt like I was at home. Everyone welcomed me and my family. At the end of the day, it’s not only about soccer. It’s about life. I’m happy to stay here and continue to be part of the RSL family,” said Kreilach.

Since joining RSL, Kreilach has scored 23 goals and recorded 14 assists in 77 regular season matches. He leads the team in scoring this season with five goals.

Real Salt Lake could use a few of those goals on Wednesday night against the L.A. Galaxy (7:30 p.m., KMYU) to help repair the crumbling Rio Tinto Stadium fortress.

While it’s obviously been an extremely bizarre 2020 season with multiple start and stops related to COVID-19, Real Salt Lake hasn’t looked like itself in home games with just a 1-2-2 record in five games.

Coming off back-to-back home losses to Colorado and Vancouver, RSL hosts the Galaxy on Wednesday looking to avoid its first three-game home losing streak since its 2005 expansion season.

Losing two straight at home has been rare enough, but a third straight loss would put the club in a spot it doesn’t want to be.

RSL currently sits in 11th place in the extremely compact Western Conference standings, but another loss would increase the gap between itself and eighth place which is the final playoff seed.

With MLS announcing nine more games in the regular season schedule for RSL, there’s still plenty of time to climb back into the playoff picture. However, its remaining regular season schedule is very difficult, and making a push won’t be easy.