The RSL head coach was disappointed to find his team in a disappointingly familiar circumstance: second-best when it really mattered.
The Claret-and-Cobalt fell at the final hurdle for major honors for the second time this season, the penalty loss in Kansas City following October's U.S. Open Cup final defeat against D.C. United. RSL achieved the dubious distinction of being the first team to lose both finals in the same year.
“It’s bad," he replied when asked about the mood in his team's locker room. "It’s real bad. Not just to lose the game in the fashion we did, but that it’s the last game of the season and that there’s inevitable changes and that the team as it is won’t be the same next year. There will always be guys that leave and guys that come in.”
The 1999 Major League Soccer MVP was left at a loss to explain how his players had come so close yet again to silverware only to fail. Since the team's first and only major trophy - the 2009 MLS Cup - RSL has finished runner-up in the MLS Supporters' Shield (2010), the CONCACAF Champions League (2010-11), the U.S. Open Cup (2013) and the MLS Cup (2013). Salt Lake has never finished as top seed in the Western Conference, but came second in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
“It’s remarkable that this group has put themselves in so many positions to win things and unfortunately things, one thing or another, just haven’t gone our way," said Kreis. "It’s easy to look at that in a negative way, but I don’t think we should because I thought we played outstanding tonight. It wasn’t like we came here to defend or bunker in.
"I’m really proud of this group and I think it’s a fantastic team.”