MLS decides in favor of RSL, Salcedo

League reassigns yellow card for handball, allowing defender to play Saturday.

First Published May 10 2013 08:59 am
Last Updated May 11 2013 12:16 am

Carlos Salcedo wanted the linesman to know.

The 19-year-old defender had just been forced out of his second Major League Soccer match after a questionable handball call in the box. And when Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando saved the ensuing penalty kick, Salcedo felt karma at least had vindicated him.

"Right after he saved the goal … I was yelling at the linesman, ‘That’s what happens when it’s not a PK!’ " the young center back said after the game.

It took a couple of days, but the league agreed — at least in part.

RSL appealed the call after a replay showed that, if anyone, Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran should have been shown yellow for the late handball. The league reviewed the call and decided Friday to reassign the yellow card, freeing up Salcedo to be available for Saturday’s match in Montreal.

Salcedo made his MLS debut last weekend against Vancouver. With center back Nat Borchers out with an illness, Salcedo was called upon to start just four days later. The teen’s first major minutes were not short on drama. Salcedo was shown a yellow card in the first half for a high kick. He saw his second yellow card on that questionable call in the game’s 90th minute.

The defender’s aggressive tactics, however, did not bother his coach.

"No, in fact I think there are more players in our back four that need to be as physical as he was tonight," Kreis said. "We need more statements made from our players. We need more physicality from our center backs and our outside backs because I feel there’s too many times tonight that they had opportunities to get into a 50/50 and make a hard challenge and they didn’t take them."

Salcedo’s start was the first an RSL academy graduate has made with the first team. It’s a milestone Kreis said the club can be proud of.

"It’s something we’re beginning to take a lot of pride in, the players that we’re able to produce out of that academy system in Casa Grande, [Ariz.]," Kreis said Monday before the team left for New England. "We were there in the preseason and were really, really pleased with what they’re doing down there and the players they’re producing. I think it’s a trend we can build on and hopefully continue in the future."

Salcedo, who joined RSL last July, said he could hardly believe how quickly he was able to break through with the first team.

"I wouldn’t believe [if you told me it would happen this quickly]," he said. "That was too fast. But then at the same time, I think I was doing the right things in preseason and the coaches said, ‘Be ready.’ That’s what they told me."

Salcedo said he got words of encouragement before the game from veteran midfielder Javier Morales who told him, "You’ve been working for this. You deserve this opportunity and you’ve got to take advantage of it."

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