MADRID, Spain (AP) – Real Salt Lake returned to the win column in its last match, but coach Jason Kreis is not looking at the upcoming contest against new-look Toronto FC as a guarantee to stay there.
Opening a stretch of nine of 13 on the road to end the regular season, RSL goes for its first victory at BMO Field on Saturday night when Toronto looks for its first win in seven matches.
Coming off back-to-back 2-0 losses to Columbus and Kansas City, RSL (10-5-6) closed a stretch of six of seven at home Saturday with a 3-0 victory over visiting New York.
"This isn't a team that is used to losing,'' defender Nat Borchers said after scoring his second goal of the season to help RSL avoid its first three-game losing streak since dropping four straight in 2007. "When we do lose games in a row, we take it very seriously. The message from (Kreis) was that we needed to come out and show some signs of life.''
While Kreis was pleased to see his team's scoreless streak end and 17-year-old Luis Gil notch his first MLS goal, he won't overlook Toronto (3-11-11), which has earned points in two straight after being outscored 12-2 in an 0-4-0 stretch.
Toronto has also advanced to the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League following its 4-2 aggregate victory over Nicaraguan side Real Esteli.
"I think it's a team that's got some confidence under the belt now and presents a real good challenge for us," said Kreis, whose team has not scored while going 0-2-2 at BMO Field.
However, Toronto FC coach Aron Winter expects more from his club, which has 10 new players since a 3-1 defeat at Real Salt Lake on June 25.
"I'd like to say we lost two points," Winter told the team's official website following Saturday's 3-all draw at D.C. United. "We gave away two points because in the end, we were also lucky in the extra time of the game because in the moment we were not sharp."
Andy Iro, acquired from Columbus on July 15, admitted that he played poorly. The English defender was beaten by Dwyane De Rosario in the 63rd minute and his foul inside the 18 in the 87th minute led to United's game-tying goal from the penalty spot.
"If I get bogged down by what I could have done, what I should have done, I won't be able to give my best effort on Saturday," Iro said.
Toronto hopes to receive continued production from 22-year-old forward Peri Marosevic, who has scored in both games for the club after being released by FC Dallas.
"I've been able to put myself in the right situations," he said. "... I'm happy about it. Hopefully we can turn the ties into wins and get some (more) points on the board."
Real Salt Lake leads the all-time series 4-3-2 after Borchers scored and Alvaro Saborio found the back of the net twice June 25.