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Chris Kamrani
Chris Kamrani covers Real Salt Lake for the Tribune.

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Coach says RSL will 'get some shots on goal' despite Sporting KC streak

The big statistic around Major League Soccer this week is the one showing that Sporting KC has not allowed a single shot on goal in the last 245 minutes — a league record — heading into its top-of-the-table showdown with RSL on Saturday night.

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But RSL coach Jason Kreis believes that's a little misleading.

"When you watch the games, they're allowing chances at goal," Kreis said. "But the quality in the final third of their opponents hasn't been great yet. So I think, for us, if we continue to do what we have been doing, we won't have a problem. We'll get some shots on goal."

Kreis agreed that the statistic can be misleading, because "shots on goal" — by definition — are shots that would go into the net if not stopped by an opponent. Even a shot that hits the crossbar does not count as a shot on goal.

"Probably a much more worthwhile statistic would be chances at goal," he said. "That would cover things like a missed cross, when there's a glaring opportunity. A cross comes in, there's a glaring opportunity to score, and the guy whiffs it. Well, that doesn't even count as a shot. But for me, that's a chance at goal that was very dangerous and on a different day, it is a goal."

All the same, Sporting KC has allowed only one goal in five games so far this season, in a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas on March 25.

"They've done a really good job pressuring opponents into mistakes," RSL's Will Johnson said, "and getting that first goal and just being relentless from there. They play good team defense, they don't allow a lot of chances, they don't allow a whole lot of shots. So that's a really good recipe for keeping a lot of shutouts."

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