Sandy — Real Salt Lake understands it has only itself to blame for opening its CONCACAF Champions League campaign with a 1-0 loss to Costa Rican champions Herediano on Tuesday.
RSL was surprisingly tentative to start the game and gave up an early goal. Then, as Real began to find its flow, centerback Nat Borchers' sturdy challenge was met with a red card in the 58th minute.
"We weren't quite focused on what we were trying to do defensively and the goal came up our gut," RSL coach Jason Kreis said. "We never want passes to go between us and it did, one, two, three passes right in the middle of us and it's a goal."
Though RSL can ill afford another stumble, hope lives. RSL's CONCACAF next CONCACAF opponent, Panamanian club Tauro, visits Rio Tinto Stadium on Aug. 21.
"At the beginning of the second half we were very good and then you suffer the ejection and the objective changes," Kreis said. "'If we get out of here 1-0 then we've accomplished something.'"
RSL must have a strong performance when Herediano comes to Rio Tinto at a later date this season, as well as two victories against Tauro.
"Let's be frank," Kreis said. "We could have at that point lost the script and gone down two or three to nothing and the tournament's pretty much over, so we're still in this thing."
— Martin Renzhofer
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