Despite the 4-0 scoreline penned over Chivas USA in last week's win, Real Salt Lake's Jason Kreis is still looking for improvements, for a wholly dominant win his side has seen all too rarely in a campaign spotted with losses. He'll be hoping Saturday's match against LA Galaxy will see that sort of improvement continued.
"It was obviously a solid performance, we had some individuals that stepped up and made huge plays for us," Kreis said of the Chivas match. "There were still 30 minutes in there when I thought we didn't handle things well at all."
But Kreis's famous dissatisfaction with anything but the best isn't without a a recognition that his side are improving at an important time of the season.
"I feel like we're getting back to reaching our potential, back to everything we're capable of," he said. "I really feel like we're headed in the right direction, and I'm looking for improvement this week."
With LA Galaxy possessing its share of attacking options — David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Juninho and Robbie Keane have 37 goals between them — Kreis is hoping for commitment and focus from his side.
"What you have is a lot of guys that can score goals on you at any moment, and dangerous attacking situations can come at you at any moment," he said. "It just means we need to have our best effort, a big-time commitment and a big-time focus all the time."
Of particular concern for Kreis's men will be keeping the Galaxy midfield at bay.
"Any time the ball is laid backwards to David Beckham, you've got to be ready for the ball to be served exactly where it needs to be in the box," Kreis said. "You've got to be there to win those first balls, you've got to be there to win the second balls so it doesn't pop out for the midfielders to strike from distance."
With Saturday's match one of three remaining in the season, Kreis is looking for a strong finish, which could have an big impact on RSL's playoff positioning.
"We've said for a few weeks now that all these games for us are playoff matches, and we need to handle them with the exact same mentality," he said. "They're all huge matches, and we need to put ourselves in the best possible position to give ourselves the best possible chance to win the whole chance."