RSL's Jason Kreis hopes All-Star trio is well-rested
Real Salt Lake's All-Star trio stayed in the Midwest after hoisting the Gold Cup on Sunday in Chicago, traveling directly to Kansas City for Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game.
With Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman logging heavy minutes in the international tournament, along with Tony Beltran, Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis said he had hoped to speak with Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes, who will manage the All-Star team, about limiting playing time for the three. That conversation, however, never happened.
"I would have liked to have had that, but Pete's a pretty busy guy," Kreis said. "I think he gets it. I don't think I need to tell him I don't want my players to play or I want them to play as little as possible. Hopefully he gets that message and understands it. Maybe it's a discussion we don't need to have."
Vermes has said he expects all 18 All-Stars to play Wednesday against AS Roma, which should limit minutes for the three Salt Lake players.
RSL has been without Rimando, Beckerman and Beltran for the entire month of July, and extensive minutes on Wednesday, particularly for Beckerman, might limit Kreis' options this week against Colorado the first of three games in eight days.
"It's really difficult. Looking at it right now, I just don't know if there's any way I could select those guys to play in all the games," Kreis said. "But who knows, maybe we say this is the one time this year we ask those guys to do a little bit of double-duty and give us everything they've got and empty their tanks because of how important these matches are."
After watching a second-half lead turn into a defeat for the second week in a row, Kreis is preaching focus ahead of a Rocky Mountain matchup in Colorado.
"It's just the little things at the end of matches our last two games," Kreis said Tuesday. "If we had been a little better with the ball, if we had been a little more focused in on making a play at the end of the game, we could be sitting on all the points."
Turnovers in the midfield, in particular, helped set up New York's comeback Saturday.
"It's just a matter of what we do with the ball," RSL's Luis Gil said. "At times, we lost the ball carelessly in the midfield and they were on the attack. That put us under a lot of pressure."
Real Salt Lake was the beneficiary of good fortune once again.
A coin flip to determine who might host the U.S. Open Cup final again went RSL's way. The winner of the Aug. 7 meeting between Portland and Salt Lake will host the winner of the Chicago Fire and D.C. United. If RSL advances, the team will have played the entire tournament at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Defender Carlos Salcedo trained fully Tuesday for the first time since having gallbladder surgery on July 14.
Forward Olmes Garcia, meanwhile, was held out of training because of an injury he suffered late in the loss against New York.
"We'll look after him this week and we're hopeful he could be available this weekend, but I think that's a little bit of a stretch right now," Kreis said.