It started with two goals. Now it’s four factors.
Lions coach Jason Kreis elaborated a bit on what he’s looking for from his squad as they go into their final two games of the season. Talent, effort level, tactics and mentality – all of which he’s seen in spells this season, but all of which have yet to be put forth for 90 minutes.
“Actually, in our last match we were probably as close as we’ve been,” Kreis said Monday. “Twenty-something chances on goal and really one to one-and-a-half chances against us. It was a dominating performance but again, we don’t get the result that we so desperately wanted.”
All of Orlando wanted a win against the Impact last Sunday. And based on the way the Lions played – dictating the play to Montreal from whistle to whistle – they all thought they’d get it. But soccer can be a cruel game at times, and with the loss the first of Kreis’ two goals slipped out of reach.
The second will take time.
“I’m going to say 50 percent,” Kreis answered when asked how far along his team is. “Again, I’m seeing positive things in every game, seeing the tactical approach that we’re trying to establish here – parts of it in every game. I think we’re about halfway to where we need to be as a group.”
Kreis & Co. will look to take the next great strides towards the Club’s ultimate goal this coming winter. It can be a bittersweet process, revamping the roster, but every old goodbye is followed by a new hello – it’s up to the players to turn that “goodbye” into a “see you soon.”
“[Kreis] just wants us to go out there and play well, play like it means something to us,” veteran defender Luke Boden said. “It should mean something to you because we need to go out there and play for a place on the team next year and play for pride.”
As far as his four factors, Kreis has seen them all. The talent is obvious; the tactics are a work in progress. But the mentality and work ethic?
“No doubt, what’s most pleasing is what the players put in every single day in the training sessions,” Kreis said. “The mentality of the group, the work ethic of the group, the chemistry within the group, those are all fantastic.
“As a coach, that’s really all you can ask for.