Santa Clara, Calif. • Jason Kreis almost made things even more dramatic.
Not only did his Real Salt Lake team lose 3-1 at San Jose on Saturday night in a game marred by the ejections of forward Fabian Espindola and Jamison Olave, but Kreis himself almost made an even louder statement by leaving the bench at Buck Shaw Stadium.
"When the second ejection came," he said, "I'm asking myself questions about whether I even stay on the field or just leave and go to the locker room and show my disrespect that way. Chose not to. The other thing that goes through your mind is maybe just put on three subs and say forget it.
"But [I] chose to take a little bit of a positive approach again, and look at it as a challenge, and our guys rose," he added. "We were very, very, very close."
Alas, San Jose's Simon Dawkins and Chris Wondolowski both scored headers in stoppage time to steal first place in the MLS Western Conference the teams had been tied, on goals by San Jose's Khari Stephenson and RSL's Kyle Beckerman and RSL was left to shake its head at the decisions by referee Elias Bazakos.
Kreis called Bazakos "inexperienced," and said he "struggled," taking particular issue with his decision to eject Olave for apparently fouling San Jose's Steven Lenhart in the 69th minute as Lenhart broke for goal.
But Kreis also acknowledged that league officials have decided this season that "we need to try to get some new, talented referees. So in order to do that, you have to give guys like that an opportunity, and then hopefully correct their mistakes. My big hope is that this week, through the next 10 days or so, the folks that do the teaching are going to be doing a lot of teaching with him."