After Real Salt Lake conceded an early goal - a fantastic strike from the feet of Irishman Robbie Keane - it took a resurgent effort and two goals from mercurial Argentine striker Fabian Espindola to recover three points.
"I was really interested to see what our response would be," RSL coach Kreis said after the match. "A lot of teams, even ourselves, in some patches of the season, and in prior years, would fold up shop and just succumb to more and more goals and more and more pressure."
Rescuing three points
Kreis, his calm approach as much his trademark now as his handspring-backflip celebration in his playing days, hailed the squad's approach.
"I think our guys handled it in the exact right way," he said. "They stayed calm and realized that we would still get chances."
Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando said the team's ability to rescue a win after going down rests on their experience.
"We never quit; we never stopped. It's one of those things that we've been in that situation before and we know how to bounce back. When we play as a team we are able to do that, and tonight that's exactly what happened when we went down the goal."
Right back Tony Beltran, who came out late for Chris Schuler as Kreis looked to shut up shop, said the squad's character shone through in the win.
"(W)hen the goal happened, we knew we were a good enough team where we can play soccer and we have dangerous players as well," Beltran said. "We showed a lot of character coming back and holding the lead for the rest of the game."
Kreis praised Fabian Espindola, two-goal-scorer, not just for his attacking prowess, but for his defensive contributions as well.
"Obviously, the two goals were quite nice and special," Kreis said. "He was good for us defensively and trying to find spots to help out the rest of his team on the other side of the ball. It was critical."
Espindola, who has five goals and three assists at The Home Depot Center in 2012, put some of the his success and the team's success at the stadium down to the pitch.
"This is a huge field, it's so difficult for defenders to mark and I think that's good for us," Espindola said. "We're a team that's good with the ball so it works because the other teams get so tired when they don't get the ball in those spaces."
Rimando praised Espindola's determination.
"He wants to prove to his teammates and his team that he's here and he wants to play," Rimando said. "He wants to prove to the league that he's one of the best forwards in this league. He's been putting forward that effort for a while now, but it's really starting to show."
Quotes via RSL Communications