Kreis said RSL is nearing full strength, but it may not actually ever happen. Of the team's core group of contributors, seven are over 30 years old — including three defenders. Defense has been RSL's bread and butter since 2010, but it ranks in the bottom half of MLS with 26 goals allowed this year.
Shorthanded or not, the five goals conceded at San Jose last weekend raises RSL's total to 12 in the past six matches.
Sounds like a good reason to panic, right?
"We've got to stick together," said Will Johnson. "When we're in a slump, we try and stay positive, and even when we're winning, we don't get too high on ourselves and overplay it. I think it's good to keep it this way."
Johnson said the team just needs to get through the summer, get players healthy and everyone will forget all this nonsense.
"This is an organization built on winning. Fans expect winning, media expects winning, we expect to win, and so we need to get back to that winning culture. We've set the bar pretty high for ourselves and we need to get back to that level," he said.
Don't ever expect any extra urgency to make it happen though.
Real Salt Lake won the MLS Cup in 2009 as the last seed in the playoffs. It lost to Dallas in the first round of the 2010 playoffs despite owning the second-best record in MLS. Last year it went into the playoffs on a six-game winless streak with a minus-10 goal difference, yet still stunned Seattle in the first round to advance to the conference final.
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