With a sleeve wrapped around his captain's hamstring, Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis put the odds of Kyle Beckerman playing in Saturday's game against Houston at 50/50.
Turns out it was a much safer bet all along.
"I lied," Kreis said after RSL's 1-0 victory over the Dynamo.
Beckerman played the entire 90 minutes against Houston. It was his 10th match in a 37-day stretch that included an international friendly, the Gold Cup, the MLS All-Star Game, U.S. Open Cup action and league play. The RSL captain has logged 742 minutes in that time.
It's been a summer so busy that Beckerman joked with reporters last week that he was unsure of which day or month it was.
But especially with Beckerman's usual backup, Yordany Alvarez, still serving a suspension, Kreis was unwilling to sacrifice the midfielder come game day. Instead, Kreis will find other ways to spell his player.
"We're going to attempt to get him that rest through trainings this week," Kreis said. "That's going to be our answer to that because I feel he's just too important for us to be resting during a match, especially a critical match like we're facing next weekend in Los Angeles."
Real Salt Lake holds the top spot in the MLS with 41 points. But another stretch of three matches in eight days, including big games against a pair of Western Conference foe, looms.
On Saturday night, RSL plays the Galaxy for the third and final time in the regular season. Then Salt Lake travels to Portland for a midweek game against the Timbers, before returning home to host Columbus on Aug. 24.
With a busy week and just one more game left on Alvarez's suspension, Kreis said he may yet rest Beckerman for a game soon.
"Maybe during that week there's a chance for a forced opportunity where we just make up our minds early and do it," Kreis said. "It's tough, though. It's just tough to do it because I'm a greedy guy."