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San Jose, Calif. - The symbol of Real Salt Lake's continuing slide came a few minutes after the final whistle blew.

The 2-1 loss to the struggling San Jose Earthquakes was complete, an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth four weeks before the end of the regular season whiffed. But near the center of the pitch at Avaya Stadium, Yura Movsisyan took off his left boot and massaged his aching foot.

As players filed into the tunnel, Movsisyan needed help off the ground after playing 15-plus minutes on a severely-bruised left heel. He hadn't trained much at all throughout the week, but RSL needed the linchpin of its attack to perhaps provide a spark that could help earn a come-from-behind draw - or possible more.

There was no equalizer to be found.

Instead, Movsisyan limped off the field, through the tunnel and into the locker room where the throbbing pain inside his foot wouldn't subside. Like Movsisyan, RSL is limping toward the postseason. And there has been no remedy in sight the last five weeks. The winless streak extended to five-consecutive matches Saturday night in the Bay Area where RSL has earned just two points since its last victory on Aug, 26.

On that night in Sandy, RSL sat in second place in the Western Conference it suddenly had dead in its sights. The club was within reaching distance of a top seed. Back-to-back wins over the two best teams in Major League Soccer had RSL on a roll, back in a familiar light as the late-season dark horse postseason contender no one wanted to see the first week of November.

That was then. How swiftly things have changed. The loss in San Jose was RSL's sixth in its last seven road matches. Since June 2, RSL has managed just three points on the road.

"Hopefully all this is a big wake-up call," defender Tony Beltran said. "So what, we put some points together, and we're in the postseason picture? It doesn't mean anything. You've got to show up every week, and if you don't, especially toward the end of the year, then all your hard work the entire season is done and it's a long way until next year."

Despite these lengthening late-season blues a sprinkling of luck has benefitted RSL. The club remains in fourth place in the Western Conference, at least for another week. Sporting Kansas City and the Portland Timbers did not make up any ground on RSL, each losing on the road themselves this weekend. The third-place L.A. Galaxy also lost, leaving RSL still, somehow, just three points out of the playoff spot directly above.

"We're frustrated because we feel like we're capable of more, and so we're trying to figure it out before hopefully we get in the postseason here," said Beltran, "because if you don't figure it out, then you're going to be going home pretty quickly."

Now two weeks stand between RSL and a dramatic final home match with Sporting KC on Oct. 16. RSL coach Jeff Cassar said the upcoming bye week will be beneficial for only one purpose: Health. Including Movsisyan's heel injury, many RSL players are nursing late-season bumps and bruises.

"Eighty-five percent of somebody and then they play 80 percent, that's not good enough," Cassar said. "Every one of our players needs to be at 100 percent. and playing at 100 percent to be successful and go far in the playoffs."

Javier Morales said players have to take a step back and take a broader look at the recent struggles and find a way to relax. Easier said than done with the way RSL's been shuffling along the last month.

"I think we have to talk a lot," he said, "and work harder to beat Kansas [City] at home."

Twitter: @chriskamrani