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Real Salt Lake: With players getting healthy, 'It's going to be a little bit cutthroat'

Published April 21, 2013 9:19 pm

Soccer • Salt Lake lineup particularly crowded at forward.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Decisions, decisions.

Real Salt Lake is about to have more of them.

After dealing with a variety of early-season injuries, more than a half dozen RSL players were taken off the team's injury report this week. Among the most notable: forward Robbie Findley, who missed two weeks with a groin injury, and defender Chris Wingert, who made the RSL 18 on Saturday for the first time all season.

"It's not easy now," RSL coach Jason Kreis said. "As we hopefully get players healthy, if we can have them all healthy at the same time, it's going to be very difficult to make decisions, both in the starting lineup and the 18. It's going to be a little bit cutthroat."

The pack is particularly crowded at forward. Findley saw action in Saturday's 1-0 win over Chivas USA, coming on as a second-half substitute for Olmes Garcia. Joao Plata, a starter a week ago, did not make it off the bench.

With five forwards on the roster (all of whom have been inserted in to the starting lineup already this year), Kreis said he's happy riding the hot hand.

"We've tried to be fair and make decisions and say the forwards that are in form are the ones who are going to start," Kreis said. "[Findley and Garcia] both looked really really sharp this week, but Garcia scored last week so he gets the nod."

Real will look to continue building on the momentum from recent weeks as it moves to the second match of a three-game homestand. Up next: the Los Angeles Galaxy. After beating Sporting KC on Saturday, thanks in part to a goal from Landon Donovan, the Galaxy sit tied with RSL for second place in the Western Conference despite having played two fewer games.

RSL should be encouraged after earning a road draw at Vancouver and taking down an upstart Chivas USA squad at Rio Tinto Stadium.

"We have to keep going though," goalkeeper Nick Rimando said. "This is only one game out of a three-game stretch. The goal is nine points, and I don't think it's out of our reach if we continue to play like this."

RSL has not won consecutive games this season.

"That's something that we'd like to build," midfielder Ned Grabavoy said, "start putting multiple wins together."

afalk@sltrib.comTwitter: @aaronfalk —

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