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Real Salt Lake: Jekyll-and-Hyde season continues with thumping in Houston

Published June 1, 2017 2:31 pm

Real Salt Lake • Petke, players 'embarrassed' after yet another lopsided road loss
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Fuming with obvious frustration, Tony Beltran could barely look directly into the camera.

The Real Salt Lake veteran defender keeps his cool as good as anyone under difficult circumstances, but in the moments after he walked out of the humidity in Houston and beneath BBVA Compass Stadium following Wednesday's 5-1 loss, the 29-year-old right back said what needed to be said.

"Everyone who played on the field tonight should be embarrassed," he said on his postgame TV interview. "It's just not acceptable."

RSL was humiliated by the Dynamo as it lost its fourth-consecutive road game in such lopsided, familiar fashion.

The cycle continues. A few days after RSL's most-complete performance of the season — a 1-0 win at home over the red-hot Philadelphia Union — the club went to Houston and was played off the pitch.

The one step forward, two steps back routine is ongoing.

After posting back-to-back wins in Mike Petke's first two matches as head coach in April, RSL lost four straight. RSL snapped that skid two weeks ago, but has since alternated wins at home with losses on the road. Taking out a competitive, winnable 1-0 loss at Seattle on May 20, RSL's road form has been troubling, to say the least.

Of the 20 goals RSL has allowed on the road this year, 13 have come in the first half — not exactly the ideal recipe for a team still trying to find its way. That's a 65 percent clip in which RSL is usually down, and down early, in hostile environments. Nabbing results on the road are already difficult enough in parity-filled Major League Soccer.

RSL is continually making it harder on itself each game.

"Myself and the guys have some looking into the mirror to do and hold ourselves accountable, for sure." Petke said after the game.

So on goes RSL's Jekyll-and-Hyde impersonation, into its second portion of the two-game road trip in the Lone Star state. RSL is at FC Dallas Saturday night, a place it is 1-14-12 all-time since entering MLS in 2005. The schedule is taking no pity on RSL.

"There's a lot of season left," midfielder Kyle Beckerman said, "so we've just got to get back on the horse and see if we can win the next one."

History isn't on RSL's side in Dallas. But that's the least of the club's worries at this point. RSL has allowed 29 goals in 15 matches — nearly two goals a game. RSL also has the league's worst goal differential at minus-16.

We're approaching the halfway point of the season with a FIFA international window break upcoming after the match at FC Dallas. And RSL is undoubtedly at the wrong end of the Western Conference standings.

"I apologize to the fans, I apologize to my owner, I apologize to Craig [Waibel], my GM, what else can you say?" Petke said on his own postgame TV interview. "I'm embarrassed."


Twitter: @chriskamrani —

Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas

Kickoff » 6 p.m. Saturday







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