After a 4 – 2 win after a significantly crippled Portland team (especially after Valeri was taken off for injury and Ben Zemanski was sent off with a red card for a bad challenge), Real Salt Lake will head into a 2 week break — during which captain Kyle Beckerman, goalkeeper Nick Rimando and Costa Rican striker Alvaro Saborio will play for their national teams in the World Cup qualifiers — with a comfortable lead in the rankings. Even if both their current rivals in the standings win — the Galaxy with 40 points, and the Impact with 41 — RSL will still have at least a 2 point advantage going into an away game in Seattle on September 13th.
Notable last night were Javi’s bicycle kick goal off a Joao Plata corner, Luis Gil having a (possibly somewhat surprisingly) good match and notching a goal himself, and a goal each from Joao and Sabo. It’s important, to me, to note the distribution. RSL doesn’t have a single goal scorer that they rely on to hit the back of the net. There are dangers everywhere. Besides those four, Beckerman took a nice shot from distance that just veered wide, and Grabavoy had several good opportunities as well. Sabo could easily have scored more than once and played a great game — which was a relief considering just a few days ago he wasn’t training fully with the team.
For the first time since it’s started buzzing around the interwebs, Kreis said “we have three trophies to win”. Each W in RSL’s column brings them one step closer. It’s hard to imagine DC pulling off an upset in Rio Tinto in October, and it’s likewise hard to foresee a massive dip in the Supporter’s Shield race between now and November. All RSL needs to do now is keep doing what they’ve been doing. Will this increase Jason Kreis’ price tag if he manages to lead Real Salt Lake into a trifecta? Almost certainly. Will Dell Loy Hansen pay whatever it takes to keep him on? I’m almost positive. It would be such a huge loss to the franchise to not give Kreis basically whatever he wants that the only way he could make up for it would be to, I dunno, call in Caleb Porter to coach RSL or something crazy like that…Suffice it to say that as this season progresses, Kreis gives himself (or, actually his agent) more bargaining chips to bring to the table when they go into contract renewal negotiations — whenever those happen. There’s lots of speculation surrounding Kreis’ contract expiring but I think everyone innately understands that the RSL front office would be stupid to let him slip through their fingers.