40 degrees and dropping, pyrotechnics blazing and a crowd salivating because they can taste the sweetness of a Western Conference championship. The story came to an end however when Real Salt Lake lost 1-0 to the New York Red Bulls last week.
RSL fell short of playing for its first Major League Soccer Championship even though they were the aggressor throughout the entire game. They put relentless pressure on the Red Bulls from the very start.
However it was the Red Bulls who would strike first when Dave Van Den Bergh scored an unassisted goal in the 28th minute. This would prove to be enough to send New York to the MLS Cup.
“I think that if you know the game long enough, you realize that’s just the way the game goes,” Coach Jason Kreis said following the match. “I’ve seen so many of those in my career, tonight was just another one of those nights, we got chance after chance after chance.”
Though RSL dominated the game controlling the ball, missed opportunities led to the conclusion of their season.
RSL more than doubled the amount of New York’s shots on goal with 24 compared to the Red Bull’s 11 but they couldn’t get any to hit the back of the net.
RSL lost the game by inches, hitting the goalpost three times, including two in the second half.
Kreis was certainly not disappointed with the way this season ended however.
“The season was very, very good. We exceeded a lot of expectations, exceeded a lot of outsiders’ expectations,” Kreis said. “We’ve made a very solid foundation, a very solid plan about what we want to be and who we want to be. This year we probably went a little further than we expected.”