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Injury proves to RSL coach that ad boards are too close to sideline

Published April 23, 2011 4:52 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Coach Jason Kreis didn't see anything dirty in the way New England's Kevin Alston crashed RSL's Will Johnson into the sideline advertising boards last weekend, breaking Johnson's thumb in three places.But he did see something else."For me, it all comes down to those boards are too darn close to the field," Kreis said in advance of RSL's game against the Colorado Rapids tonight at Rio Tinto Stadium. "Way too close to the field. It has to do with the benches being on that side, and that brings up other questions in my mind. I know they want the camera on one side. Well, how about switching the benches to the other side? I just don't understand why any stadium, any place, needs to have the boards in front of the benches. I don't get it."Because the ad boards were so close to the field, Johnson crashed hard into them when Alston bumped him pretty good while challenging for a ball along the sideline in a 2-0 win for RSL at Gillette Stadium last weekend.Johnson later picked up a red card that will keep him out of the Rapids game, but Kreis said he would not have been available, anyway, because of the injury. The coach said doctors were still trying to decide whether to insert pins in the thumb or "try to let it heal on its own."Either way, Kreis did not hold Alston responsible."I really didn't put much weight into it," Kreis said. "I didn't think it was dirty. I think Alston didn't really know Will was going to be there and all of the sudden, Will's there, and it was just a good shoulder charge."