RSL: Chris Wingert makes return in exhibition with BYU
Real Salt Lake defender Chris Wingert saw his first action of the season Monday night at Rio Tinto Stadium, coming on as a second-half substitute in RSL's 1-0 exhibition win over BYU.
Wingert, who broke a bone in his foot while training in the offseason, practiced fully for the first time Friday and had planned to take a few days off. But the outside back said his foot felt good when he practiced again Saturday and was "antsy to get out there and get some minutes."
"It felt great to be out there," Wingert said. "I didn't feel too sharp, a little slow and sluggish but maybe that's to be expected. Sometimes your mind thinks you can do things and your body can't keep up. But my foot feels good, and I just need to keep pushing forward and hopefully start to get a little sharper in the next week or two."
The game's lone goal came from rookie midfielder John Stertzer during stoppage time at the end of the first half. Stertzer beat the keeper with a near-post header.
"I was just in the right place at the right time," Stertzer said afterward.
RSL forward Olmes Garcia put on show with his speed, footwork and creativity. But BYU goalie Brian Hale, who has trained with RSL in the past, made a number of saves to keep the game close.
"On a different night, we score three or four goals in the second half," RSL assistant coach Jeff Cassar said.
Salt Lake got solid contributions from a trio of RSL academy players. Ive Burnett and Coco Navarro logged minutes in the second half. Forward Jordan Allen, who is committed to play at the University of Virginia, started for RSL and provided excitement with his skills but was denied on a point-blank shot on goal.