PROVO, Utah - Real Salt Lake played to a 1-1 draw against the BYU Cougars on Saturday. And the result was not a welcome one for the Claret-and-Cobalt.
“Obviously I’m not real pleased - to walk out of playing a college team and to tie the game just should never happen,” Coach Jason Kreis told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s a lot that goes into that but it doesn’t matter. I can’t come up with any reason why we should draw that game.”
The game started off promising for the MLS team. They controlled the bulk of the possession in the first half, and went into the break leading 1-0 thanks to a late goal courtesy of midfielder Will Johnson. They did give up a couple of solid chances to the Cougars in the opening stanza, but the sense at the half was that everything was in their hands.
And the opening minutes after the break seemed to confirm that, as both RSL forwards - Cody Arnoux and Alvaro Saborio - had some early second half chances in front of goal. However, the team could not seem to put one away.
According to assistant coach Jeff Cassar it was a case of “just that final pass. We were having some joy in the midfield, but it just wasn’t happening for us.”
That lack of success included clanking a few off the woodwork, which was perhaps another symbol that things just weren’t going RSL’s way in this one.
However, for midfielder Ned Grabavoy the result was all RSL’s own doing.
“It was one of those games where you just want to be sharp, and everyone should be good on the ball,” said Grabavoy. “There seemed to be a lot of silly mistakes from some of those guys.”
However, the nine-year veteran did acknowledge that BYU was able to capitalize on the chances they were given, including the equalizer in the 89th minute.
“[We had] a ton of chances,” lamented Grabavoy. “We had the ball the whole time, but we don’t put a team away and they’re very excited. This game means a lot to them. Credit to them, they hung in there the best they could.”
For Kreis, he’s hoping that his squad learns something from the disappointing result.
“I hope that the players walk away and recognize that if they don’t give everything they have, they don’t get results,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if they are playing Seattle or BYU.”