Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Real Salt Lake: Rebounding from loss won’t be easy for RSL
Soccer » After hot start, Real Salt Lake struggling.

< Previous Page

Just like last season, a strong start is suddenly fading fast for Real Salt Lake.

After winning five of its first six games for the second straight year, the team again is unexpectedly wobbling — this time having lost back-to-back road games, with just three days to prepare for another one in the most hostile of environments, without two of its most important players.

At a glance

RSL at FC Dallas

Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. MDT TV » CW30

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"The best thing we can do," goalkeeper Nick Rimando said, "is try to rebound from it."

That won’t be easy.

Forward Fabian Espindola and defender Jamison Olave were red-carded from a 3-1 loss at San Jose on Saturday night, meaning they are automatically suspended from their next game, in this case a Wednesday visit to FC Dallas, where RSL has managed but a single draw in 10 meetings all-time.

Under the terms of the league’s new partnership with U.S. Soccer to manage its referees, RSL could appeal either red card in the hope that Major League Soccer would rescind it, along with its attendant $250 fine and suspension.

But it’s unclear whether team officials will pursue that option, even though coach Jason Kreis complained that referee Elias Bazakos was "inexperienced" and "struggled" to make good decisions in the San Jose game.

For one thing, Kreis might have been tempted to rest Espindola and Olave at FC Dallas, anyway. Besides that, it might take a more clear-cut case than the ones RSL endured to get the league to overturn an ejection.

Kreis could face disciplinary action from the league himself, in fact, for his comments about Bazakos.

Even down two men, though, RSL nearly closed out a draw against the Earthquakes, but San Jose’s Simon Dawkins and Chris Wondolowski both scored headers in stoppage time to snap a five-game winless streak against RSL and vault over it for first place in the MLS Western Conference, by one point.

story continues below
story continues below

Meanwhile, FC Dallas is coming off a 1-0 loss at Vancouver in which former RSL goalkeeper Chris Seitz played in place of starter Kevin Hartman, the league’s all-time saves leader who was out with back spasms.

However, the Hoops are 3-0-1 at home this season — they’re 3-3-1 overall, for 10 points — and have outscored RSL 18-5 in nine regular-season home meetings at Pizza Hut Park and the Cotton Bowl.

RSL also lost a playoff game in Dallas two years ago.

"We just have to move on," defender Chris Wingert said. "Three tough ones on the road, but we knew that coming in. … You can’t think about the two losses or the wins before that or anything else. It’s just one game on Wednesday."

Kreis probably will use a much different lineup at FC Dallas, both to account for the suspensions of Espindola and Olave and also to give some players a break for the second of three games in eight days.

"We have a lot of ideas" about how RSL might adjust its lineup, Kreis said. "We’re in a good place now, because a lot of our guys have played lots of minutes. So I don’t think that we’re going to have much of an issue there."


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.