RSL: Borchers says fall, handball 'on me'
Real Salt Lake was minutes away from escaping Canada with three points.
But when Nat Borchers slipped in his own penalty box, causing his arm to hit a loose ball, the chance at RSL's first-ever win in the Great White North evaporated.
The referee awarded a penalty kick for the handball, and the Vancouver Whitecaps equalized. The call, however, could have easily gone the other way.
"There's definitely going to be a difference of opinion among the referees," Borchers said Wednesday of the call. "Every ref is going to have a different way of calling that. Unfortunately, the call went against us."
Borchers was not the only player who had trouble with footing on the BC Place turf.
"I thought there was definitely some difficulty keeping your feet with the way it was watered, but as players we want it to be fast, we want it to be like that," he said. "As long as it's watered on both sides, we're good."
But in the end, the veteran defender took responsibility for the fall.
"At the end of the day, as a center back, you just can't slip," Borchers said. "So that one's on me, and you just have to move forward."
Speaking of handballs, RSL midfielder Sebastian Velasquez is recovering from one of his own.
Salt Lake players were in the middle of a shooting drill last week when Velasquez went to pick up a couple of balls near the net. He heard his teammates shout his name, turned and put his hands up to stop a ball that was sailing at him. It broke a bone in his right hand.
Velasquez underwent surgery and, after missing Saturday's game, was training Wednesday.
"It's just tough to take an injury period," he said. "You get a couple of minutes to play, and all of a sudden you get a funny injury. ... It's kind of tough. Luckily, it was on my hand and not my foot. So, good thing you play football with your feet."
Velasquez said he felt no pain Wednesday. It would be up to Major League Soccer and the referee whether Velasquez would be allowed to play Saturday, coach Jason Kreis said.
Captain Kyle Beckerman's rib injury kept him out of training Wednesday.
"It's really a huge pain issue he's dealing with," the coach said. "We don't think he'll train [Thursday]. We're hopeful that he trains Friday and is available for Saturday."
Chivas USA at Real Salt Lake
P At Rio Tinto Stadium
Kickoff • Saturday, 7 p.m.
TV • CW30