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

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Ongoing search for outside backs gives trialist shot to impress RSL

Defender Chris Estridge did not stick with the Vancouver Whitecaps after being drafted out of Indiana University two months ago.

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But he has a shot with RSL, now.

The 22-year-old outside back joined RSL for a reserve game against Sporting KC on March 20, and impressed coach Jason Kreis and his staff enough to warrant a longer look. He played in another reserve game at Chicago on Tuesday, and has been training with the full team at America First Field in Sandy this week.

"He's done really well," Kreis said. "Well enough that we're extending his time with us, in order to try to make a very educated and fair decision."

Having lost veteran defender Robbie Russell during the offseason, RSL has been searching for outside backs to back up starters Chris Wingert and Tony Beltran.

Newcomer Terukazu Tanaka seems to be atop the list of prospects — he nearly started the home opener against New York, only to fall ill — while rookie Diogo de Almeida was chosen just three picks after the Whitecaps took Estridge in the MLS SuperDraft.

Estridge played his final two collegiate seasons at Indiana after transferring from Wake Forest, and can play on either side of the field, which would be ideal for the rotation that RSL envisions. Kreis said the team has no timetable for making a decision on whether to offer Estridge a contract, however.

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