Sandy • Maybe it's this season's version of the Javier Morales incident.
Almost exactly a year after the star Real Salt Lake midfielder had his ankle ravaged by a hideous tackle, San Jose's Shea Salinas suffered a broken collarbone when he was flat-out slammed to the ground by New York's Rafael Marquez on a corner kick last weekend an injury that will keep the standout winger from his team's game against RSL on Saturday night.
"Horrible," RSL coach Jason Kreis said. "I don't know how the referee doesn't see that as a foul. â¦ There's four referees on the field. Four."
The referee might not have seen it, but Major League Soccer officials have been reviewing video of the incident and are expected to discipline Marquez, probably with a fine and a suspension.
Meanwhile, Salinas is out six to eight weeks, depriving the Earthquakes of one of their best players against RSL and others.
The Earthquakes are 4-1-1 and just two points behind RSL in the MLS Western Conference standings, with RSL coming off a disappointing 1-0 loss at unblemished Sporting KC last weekend.
Salinas was the second player Kreis mentioned when asked who was most dangerous for the Quakes aside from league-leading scorer Chris Wondolowski Â he has seven goals already Â though the coach noted that RSL won't benefit much from his absence, because talented Englishman Simon Dawkins is expected to replace him.
"He's also a very, very gifted player," Kreis said.
RSL has enjoyed some success on the road against the Earthquakes, having gone 3-1 against them at Buck Shaw Stadium in San Jose. The team also is riding a five-game unbeaten streak against the Earthquakes (3-0-2), having beaten them on the road on opening day the past two seasons.
Morales worked out a little bit with the reserves as they warmed up for their game Tuesday, suggesting to Kreis that he's "starting to move forward" with his recovery from a strained hamstring suffered against Montreal on April 4. Fellow midfielder Ned Grabavoy was nearly a full participant in training, meanwhile, as he works his way back from a dislocated rib suffered in a fall in the same game. It's uncertain whether he will be ready to return against the Earthquakes.
Nothing in reserve
The RSL reserves lost again on Tuesday, falling 3-0 to visiting FC Dallas in a game marred by red cards to RSL's Paulo Jr. and FCD's Bruno Guarda.
The loss dropped the reserves to 0-4-1 on the season, and left Kreis thoroughly unimpressed.
"I'd like to give it as positive a spin as I can," he said. "But it's difficult, because it's really not."