Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata (8) controls the ball against Vancouver Whitecaps FC defender Andy O'Brien (40) during an MLS soccer match Saturday, May 4, 2013, in Sandy, Utah. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune) , Kim Raff)
RSL sees forward progress
RSL » Coach gains confidence as key players return from injuries and others step up.
First Published May 23 2013 09:14 am • Last Updated Dec 07 2013 11:32 pm

Flash back two years.

Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis wants to rest his star forward, Alvaro Saborio, who has been dealing with a lingering knee injury. Fabian Espindola is at home, trying to mentally recover from a poor showing in the Champions League.

At a glance

Chicago at RSL

Saturday, 7 p.m., TV » CW30

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

And all of a sudden Paulo Jr. pulls up lame.

It was a combination of problems that left Kreis with no other choice but to have Saborio play through pain, and alongside the team’s only other forward, converted midfielder Arturo Alvarez.

Flash forward to now. Those days are over for RSL.

Even as the team deals with a seemingly endless cycle of injuries, including awaiting the return of Saborio after a monthlong absence, the production RSL has seen from its newly stocked stable of forwards has given Kreis greater confidence, and more time when injuries strike.

"There’s no doubt," the coach said this week. "I’m really pleased with how we’ve built things so far. The progress we’ve seen in our players, the depth in every position, I think it allows us to make very smart decisions ... with guys so they’re not pushing through anything."

A month ago, Real Salt Lake was nearly finished with training ahead of a matchup with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Players were taking their final shots for the last drill of the day when Saborio fell to the ground and the Real Salt Lake training staff surrounded him. The Costa Rican would later be diagnosed with a quad tear.

In the same training session, Robbie Findley, barely recovered from a groin injury, hyperextended his knee.

It was a scenario the RSL front office hated to see, but one it had prepared for in the offseason by stocking up on forwards.


story continues below
story continues below

Kreis has used nine different starting forward combinations this year.

Colombian acquisition Olmes Garcia has scored two goals and hit the woodwork four times in seven appearances so far this year. RSL has seen valuable minutes and a goal out of hardworking rookie Devon Sandoval.

And Joao Plata, Sandoval’s partner up top last weekend, beat Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for his first goal of the season. The diminutive speedster also has four assists on the year.

"We’ve got a lot of depth on the forward line," said Findley, who was back on the field last week to score his second goal of the year.

"I think it just brings the best out of everybody here in training and it really makes you work for that spot. Every one has put in the hard work and is contributing. When you have everyone on the same page and working hard for each other it will work out."

Saborio is also back training fully with the club.

"We’re hopeful that he’ll continue to get better over the next few days and [that] he’s available this weekend," coach Kreis said this week of his team’s leading-scorer. "But it’s still very much up in the air."

This time, that’s not such a bad thing for RSL.

afalk@sltrib.com



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
Videos
Jobs
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
  • Login to the Electronic 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.