Despite dominance, RSL departure from CCL stings

Bob Levey

With a draw against Costa Rican side Herediano, Real Salt Lake was sent tumbling out of CONCACAF Champions League play.

With a draw against Costa Rican side Herediano, Real Salt Lake was sent tumbling out of CONCACAF Champions League play. But after a match that saw RSL dominate the affair, the team will be looking to transition to MLS Cup playoffs, which start in just over a week.

Despite the knockout, RSL coach Jason Kreis praised the effort his side put into the match.

"It's always a little frustrating when you have so many clear chances and you don't take them, but I think that our guys put all the right effort into it," he said. "I am really, really proud of our guys tonight. At halftime I told them that the performance they had put out was spectacular in my eyes."

Kyle Beckerman said the result was disappointing, especially given the dominance on display.

"If we score our chances we're one of the best teams in the region," he said. "When we don't, we stay at home. It's a bummer to take right now, because we did enough tonight and we were a far better team, but you've got to score."

Beckerman, RSL captain, said he was keen to not see heads drop.

"We'll just try and pick ourselves up and turn it around," he said. "We've got some really important games coming up so we can still have a really good season if we get our stuff together."

Defender Nat Borchers said the approach was encouraging, particularly with MLS play kicking back up.

"It's a tough loss, we'll call it - obviously we didn't lose, but it feels like a loss," Borchers said. "It was another result where we defended quite well and we attacked quite well. We had them in their end of the field the whole game, and like I said, I think it's something that we can move forward with and be very positive about."

Nick Rimando, who was forced into action a few times as a sweeper-keeper - and nearly got a vital touch in the box on a late corner - said the team needs to move forward with the same attacking mentality.

"If we play like we did in the first half, there's no rebounding," he said. "We just concentrate on our game and have no worries about how we're going to play. If we let this get the best of us and feel bad about this game, it's not going to be good going into the playoffs, but I doubt we're going to do that."

Kreis said the quick transition to Saturday's match against Vancouver Whitecaps and playoffs the following week could help the side deal with the knockout.

"I think in some ways it's a good thing that we have a game on Saturday," he said. "Another match for us to get turned around and then playoffs start very quickly after that; we've got to feel sorry for ourselves a little bit tonight and then move forward."

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