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Petke: Why RSL struggled to break down Houston

It’s not just about shooting practice for Petke.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Real Salt Lake Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake just couldn’t break down Houston Dynamo — a story that’s become all too familiar recently — and coach Mike Petke, unsurprisingly, told us why during his press conference on Saturday.

We didn’t do enough in transition, we weren’t quick enough in transition to break them down, to get behind them before they got into their shape. And then for me, how do break down a team offensively that is sitting back? Switch the point of attack much quicker, more ball movement, send some over the top to chase to lock them in their end and hopefully win something in their end.

He’s not entirely negative right now, though.

Am I happy with the way we are creating and playing right now? Or do I wish we were playing like crap and scoring 3 or 4 goals a game? It’s the yin and the yang and I haven’t decided which way I would prefer but I enjoy the way we are playing right now, we are just not finding the net at the moment.

Maybe that’s with good reason. We made the playoffs in 2016 but we looked horrid doing it, and we were knocked out at the first asking. Now, we might not make the playoffs now (read: we almost certainly won’t), but at least we look alright, and at least we have hope for next year. That’s more than I had after we were knocked out again by LA Galaxy.

Anyway, rant over.

Here’s Petke on the run-and-cross approach:

I knew we would have a lot more of the ball, even though we had more of the ball to begin with, but I knew we would have a lot more of the ball. But that is just, like we already pointed out, they were already sitting back a bit, that really pushed them back deeper. Obviously the way that I play, it is not incredible get wide and cross the ball in with runners. I mean we do that once in awhile, and that was really the only way to break that down when they are sitting 4, 5, 6, 7 guys in the box.

Finally, here’s Petke on playoffs:

I still think there is a great opportunity for us to get where we need to go point-wise to the playoffs based on how the Western Conference is going. So 10 games left, not pushing the panic button, I never panic. I get anxious. I don’t panic or get nervous and I am going to compete as well as these guys are going to compete until the last day of the season.