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Chris Kamrani
Chris Kamrani covers Real Salt Lake for the Tribune.

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Coach Jason Kreis of RSL has some ... 'reservations' about Reserve League

Consider coach Jason Kreis not a fan of the Major League Soccer Reserve League.

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Or rather, how it's scheduled.

"Ridiculous," he said.

Originally, the reserve league scheduled games the morning after first-team games, so that young and up-and-coming players could train and travel with the full team and have their coaching staff always on hand to watch them play.

Now, in the ostensible effort to make the games "more professional" after a two-year hiatus, games are frequently scheduled on their own, many during the week, meaning players often must miss full team training, travel on the day of the game, and show their abilities in front of only a few of their team's coaches because others must stay behind for training with the rest of the players.

"The reasoning was they wanted to treat the reserve games in a more professional manner, and stand on their own," Kreis said. "And it my opinion, it makes it that much less professional.

"Last week, we played in Dallas," he said. "We fly in day of the game. How is that professional? This week, we play in Chicago, we have to call in three or four academy kids. How is that professional? It's just disruptive.

"My feeling are very clear on it," he said. "The way that we used to do the reserve team was the exact right way: the very next morning after the first-team match. That way, I could see every game, make a strong evaluation from those matches. We could give the players the right sense of how important they are, because we're all there. And the costs of it would be less. You go on a road trip, and you bring everybody.

"Instead, now we have to make road trips to odd places, like Chicago in the middle of the week," he added. "And on top of all that, it makes my training sessions disruptive when we're preparing for our next match."

On the bright side, midfielder Will Johnson played a season-high 73 minutes for the RSL reserves in their third straight Tuesday game today, but they lost 1-0 at Chicago and fell to 0-2-1 on the season. Johnson is recovering from sports-hernia surgery, and seemingly could be available for the full team when RSL plays at Portland on Saturday.

Two trialists — right back Chris Estridge and striker Jose Carlos Nunez — played for RSL against the Fire, according to the team, along with two players from the RSL-Arizona Academy: defender Carlos Salcedo and forward Eti Tavares.

Oh, and at least the next reserve game comes, in fact, on the morning after RSL plays the rival Colorado Rapids on April 7.



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