Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Real Salt Lake's Carlos Salcedo, right, has played well at center back, but has also made some rookie mistakes. He could give way to a veteran for the stretch run.
Real Salt Lake’s Carlos Salcedo taking his lumps as he learns
MLS » Real coach Kreis praises young defender, but says he’s still got a ways to go.
First Published Sep 18 2013 03:36 pm • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:34 pm

The game showed both sides of the young player: his confidence and skill, his youth and inexperience.

Even as the crowd of 60,000-plus Seattle Sounders fans screamed down at him from the stands, Carlos Salcedo, Real Salt Lake’s 19-year-old center back, said he felt no nerves.

At a glance

San Jose at Real Salt Lake

O Saturday, 7 p.m.

TV » CW30

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"I like those types of games, the big crowd," he said. "It feels like it was a playoff game. From now on, every game is going to be like a playoff."

But after a 2-0 defeat that cost RSL its spot atop the Major League Soccer standings, there’s some question as to whether Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis will stick with Salcedo or opt for a more veteran presence down the stretch.

"I think he’s been fairly steady but he’s had his mistakes, and his moments where you can say for sure, ‘OK, this is a first-year player,’ " Kreis said. "And the Seattle match, I think, there were a few moments like that again. We need to be very careful about putting the cart before the horse a little bit with him and recognize he’s still developing, still learning, still gaining valuable experience and hopefully still going to improve."

Salcedo has risen quickly through the RSL ranks. He played for the Chivas Guadalajara and Tigres youth academies in Mexico before making his way to RSL’s Arizona youth academy in January of last year. He was brought to Salt Lake last July with the promise of joining the first team this year.

After an early season concussion derailed Salcedo’s progress temporarily, a foot injury to veteran center back Chris Schuler opened up a spot in the lineup.

Since May, Salcedo has earned praise from teammates and pundits for his poise, despite not turning 20 until the end of this month, and for his skill on the ball.

But with RSL fighting to reclaim first place and win its first Supporters’ Shield, Kreis could look to a more veteran presence down the stretch.

The coach has veteran center back Brandon McDonald, who was acquired in a trade with D.C. United earlier this year, at his disposal. McDonald, however, has been an infrequent visitor to the team’s 18-man game day roster since his arrival.

story continues below
story continues below

Schuler, meanwhile, is healthy and has trained fully for about a month now.

"I think we need to be very clear and say [Salcedo] hasn’t earned the starting position," Kreis said. "He’s in the starting position at the moment, but that might change this weekend."

If Salcedo can win the starting spot from Schuler, however, last weekend’s loss in Seattle could be the kind of hard knocks lesson that helps him when the playoffs start.

"It’s huge," veteran defender Nat Borchers said. "When you play in an atmosphere like that it’s going to be tough because the crowd is so loud and a team like that has so much energy. … But it’s a great learning experience for the young guys."


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.