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Real Salt Lake: Yellow cards leave RSL short on fullbacks

Published August 4, 2014 9:21 am

MLS • One-game suspensions leave Real lacking at outside back.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Commerce City, Colo. • Officials have left their marks on Real Salt Lake's last 10 games.

The next one won't be any different.

While referee Baldomero Toledo made an immediate impact on Saturday's game against the Rapids by handing out a 47th-minute red card to RSL defender Aaron Maund, his fingerprints will also be on the team's upcoming match against D.C. United. That's because Toledo doled out yellow cards to RSL's Tony Beltran and Chris Wingert, both for wasting time, pushing Salt Lake's starting fullbacks over the card limit and leading to one-game suspensions for each.

"We lost both our outside backs due to yellow cards for delay of game, which has got to be a first," RSL coach Jeff Cassar said after his team had beaten the Rapids 1-0, despite going down a man. "But we're set up for it. We have players who can come in and step up."

Who exactly those players will be remains to be seen.

Defenders Jordan Allen and Rich Balchan have both been lost to injury.

Maund will be ineligible, thanks to a red card that fellow center back Nat Borchers believes was unjustified.

"No. Never. It's never a red," Borchers said. "The last stretch of eight games, we've had a call like that every single game."

At least part of the answer could have played in Sunday's reserve game, which featured Abdoulie Mansally and 17-year-old academy signee Justen Glad.

Cassar could also consider moving center back Chris Schuler, who did not travel with the team to Colorado due to some minor foot soreness, to the outside. Or he could simply go with three defenders in the back.

"We've got a deep team," Borchers said. "Outside back is not exactly our deepest position, but we're going to have guys that can slot in and take care of the position."

Fear the beard

After Saturday's win, Cassar had praise-and a chin-scratching explanation-for Borchers' defensive efforts.

"He was just unbelievable tonight," Cassar said. "I think it has something to do with his beard being back in Colorado. It seemed like everywhere we were going in Colorado, everybody had a beard. So I'm sure Nat felt at home."

Apologies

Goalkeeper Nick Rimando tied Major League Soccer's all-time shutout mark on Saturday, with 112 clean sheets. Afterward Beltran offered congratulations — and apologies.

"I feel bad it's taken this long," Beltran said. —

MLS standings

EASTERN CONFERENCE

W L T Pts GF GA

Sporting K.C. 11 5 6 39 32 20

D.C. 11 5 4 37 32 20

Toronto FC 8 7 5 29 29 28

New York 6 6 10 28 35 33

Columbus 6 7 9 27 26 28

New England 8 12 2 26 29 35

Philadelphia 5 8 9 24 34 36

Chicago 3 5 13 22 28 34

Houston 5 11 4 19 22 40

Montreal 3 13 5 14 21 39

WESTERN CONFERENCE

W L T Pts GF GA

Seattle 12 6 2 38 35 28

Real Salt Lake 9 4 9 36 33 27

Los Angeles 9 4 6 33 32 17

FC Dallas 8 7 6 30 34 31

Colorado 8 8 6 30 31 28

Vancouver 6 4 11 29 31 29

Portland 6 7 9 27 36 38

San Jose 6 8 5 23 23 20

Chivas USA 6 9 5 23 21 33

Friday's Game

Sporting Kansas City 1, Philadelphia 1, tie

Saturday's Games

Los Angeles 3, Portland 1

Toronto FC 2, Montreal 0

New York 2, New England 1

Chicago 1, Columbus 1, tie

Real Salt Lake 1, Colorado 0

San Jose 1, Seattle FC 0

Sunday's Games

D.C. United at Houston, 6 p.m.

FC Dallas at Chivas USA, 8 p.m.