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Kreis approaches long layoff for RSL with increased intensity

Hunter Martin

It's all a bit lull-ridden today, what with international matches this evening and not much else before then, aside from fascinating but not necessarily relevant-to-us international matches. That's fine and good; this isn't particularly to complain about that. And hey, I'm glad we don't have a match in the middle of the break, even if it does render continuity a tricky thing.

To his credit, Jason Kreis has recognized that the bye-week we've been handed allows an opportunity to revise our approach. After our last long break, we came back interminably flat against what was then a rampaging Seattle Sounders side. We also came back with the knowledge that our long-time coach had taken a little trip to Manchester during the interim.

The revisions have ensured that he can't go anywhere during the break, although I'm of the opinion that his trip then - undoubtedly a short, non-glamorous trip - was incidental to our poor showing. We've been working quite hard during this break, with last Wednesday featuring two discrete training sessions and Friday a full-length intrasquad scrimmage. Jason Kreis has seen the trouble the last break gave us - or at least the trouble that followed - and, I think rightly, assumed that the process was part of the trouble.

Keeping intensity up at this point in the season is valuable. It comes, of course, with a risk that injuries could crop up at inopportune times. But with our squad depth at an unprecedented high, and with injuries at a reasonable low, it seems a risk worth taking.

Could it pay off? One would hope so. Saturday's match against Portland will be absolutely and wholly vital if we are to secure a playoff spot and make a late, late Supporters Shield run.

But perhaps just as vital is that we get into some good form heading into the playoff stretch, and that we do so with a bit of confidence. I don't know exactly what that takes aside from winning (psychology's not my specialty by any means), but this should be a terribly important aspect to the next two weeks.

Tonight: Watch Kyle Beckerman get a likely start and Nick Rimando on the bench. That should be fun, right?