Carson, Calif. • The iron man run by Real Salt Lake’s Ned Grabavoy came to an end Saturday. The 30-year-old midfielder started every Major League Soccer match of the first half of the 2014 season for his club — 15 matches in all — before being injured in the second half of RSL’s June 7 3-1 loss to Portland at Rio Tinto Stadium. The hip flexor injury ended Grabavoy’s regular-season start run at 18 consecutive matches dating back to 2013.
Grabavoy went through minimal training this week while the team prepped for Chivas USA Saturday in Carson, Calif., going through different strength and conditioning drills with the training staff. RSL coach Jeff Cassar said earlier this week he didn’t envision Grabavoy being fit for the start of the second half of the season at the StubHub Center.
Injury-riddled for the first half of 2014, RSL will again have to rely on its depth as the veteran Grabavoy works his way back from the hip injury. The club has a quick turnaround as it hosts the New England Revolution on Friday, July 4 in Sandy.
"I think he’s putting himself in the mix possibly for the Fourth," Cassar said earlier this week, "but we’ll see."
Grappling the Goats
Forever linked as the two MLS expansion franchises who entered the league in 2005, Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA have wandered off in opposite directions in the last 10 years. The Goats started their run in the league with power under former coach Bob Bradley winning 37 matches from 2006-2008. Since 2009, Chivas’ struggles have resulted in no return trips to postseason. In 2012 and 2013, the club won 13 combined matches, losing 38. RSL has qualified for the playoffs six consecutive seasons.
RSL is 12-10-4 all time in the regular season against Chivas and 13-10-5 across all competitions entering Saturday night’s match at StubHub Center.
No rest for the weary
Four days after welcoming the birth of son Lincoln with wife Crystal, RSL center back Nat Borchers got the start against Chivas USA. Cassar said earlier this week he’d leave it up to the Borchers crew in terms of the the veteran’s availability. Borchers returned to training Thursday and Friday and made himself ready for selection.
"It’s just the person he is to make himself available for this weekend," Cassar said.
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