Most shocking U.S. Open Cup upset: Real Salt Lake

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Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis can be a pretty intense soul – and that’s after a win, on a sunny day when all is right in the universe.

So, how’s he feeling about last night’s U.S. Open Cup loss to Minnesota, a quality club, but one that competes in domestic soccer’s second tier?

“I’ve said this once before in my coaching career and I’ll say it know, I would not want to be a player under me right now,” he said.

Yep, there’s a storm a’ brewin’ in the Great Salt Lake area.

Real’s loss was surely the most shocking among the seven that saw MLS clubs go crashing out in the third round (the round where 16 MLS clubs entered). It wasn’t shocking because Minnesota is bad; the Stars are unbeaten in eight NASL matches.

It was surprising because Kreis fielded a fairly representative team, stocked with as many first-team regulars as injuries and international absences would allow. And is surprising because RSL was at home; in contrast, four of the seven MLS losers were on the road.

In fact, a great crowd of 17,212 showed up at Rio Tinto to see witness the Open Cup carnage.  And, of course, RSL is the top ranked team in most rankings, including ProSoccerTalk’s weekly quality rearrangement.

So …

We owe an apology to our fans, because that was a tremendous crowd tonight for a U.S. Open Cup match, and we let them down miserably.”

Two quick points, both in fairness and to add context:

First, Kreis wasn’t completely throwing his players under the bus. While lamenting less-than-100 percent effort, he also allowed that the tactics weren’t right. That, of course, is on the coaching staff.

And the comment about working hard in the aftermath wasn’t all about punitive measure; the team now has a 17-day break before its next match. Kreis was also talking generally about working hard during the break.

His post-game comments are here:

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