Morales travels with RSL, inches closer to comeback from broken ankle

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Few teams in Major League Soccer are as in-form as Real Salt Lake, which is on a four-game winning streak and is within striking distance of catching the Los Angeles Galaxy and capturing the Supporters' Shield. The club is also on the verge of getting its playmaker back.

According to various reports, Argentine midfielder Javier Morales traveled with RSL for its games against the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United this week, and while it's not a certainty that he'll play in either of those matches, his inclusion for the trip is a definitive step forward in his return from a broken ankle.

Morales has been out since May 7, when a challenge from behind by Chivas USA's Marcos Mondaini forced him to the sidelines for the last four months. He has since returned to training while working his way back to full strength and fitness and is evidently closer to returning ahead of the original timetable that had him starting his comeback in October. If Morales doesn't play this week, RSL's following match is a home bout with the Chicago Fire on Sept. 28 — a game that directly precedes the team's final regular-season matchup with Los Angeles.

What do you think of this development? Do you think Morales' pending return makes RSL the team to beat, or is Los Angeles (or another team) still your MLS Cup favorite?

Share your thoughts below.

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20 Responses to Morales travels with RSL, inches closer to comeback from broken ankle

  1. REAL Jeff says:

    I think RSL has to be the team to beat right now. They are in the best form in the league.

  2. Justin says:

    The league should be scared about this, with Morales back only even playing 20-30 minutes a game. It will change the entire midfield and the momentum of the game.

  3. Idaho Brian says:

    I think LA is still the favorite to win the SS and MLS Cup, (that pains me to say). However, the race for hardware between LA, Seattle, RSL, and Dallas should make the final weeks of the season one of the more memorable runs in league history.

  4. Zac says:

    I disagree with you on this. RSL is definitely riding a good streak of results, but I can’t say that their form is all that great right now. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time that I felt like they were outplayed at home, which is what I felt after the SKC game on saturday.

  5. Zac says:

    Sorry, dude, I don’t think anybody is scared and, I gotta say, you sound like you are trying to convince yourself to believe this. RSL has got to figure out a LOT right now: how to get service to their forwards, how to keep their fullbacks healthy, how to get more production from anybody not named Beckerman, Rimando, Olave, Borchers, and Espindola, etc. Having Javi back (and hopefully back to something close to “in form”) will be great, but it doesn’t make RSL world beaters.

  6. Brad says:

    Well considering real has been playing 4 months at half to three quarter strength i would say theyve played well. You are forgetting to mention luis gil,paulo, sabo, ned grabavoy, andy williams will johnson, chris schuler, chris wingert, collin warner all of whom have stepped up this season with key players out. I dont think they need to worry about depth. And i think everyone forgets that we have still played two less games than seattle and LA. I think you have another thing coming if you dont think real is going to make a run at the SS.

  7. Zac says:

    I haven’t forgotten the 2 games in hand; I’m an RSL supporter and am pulling for them to get their crap together and give LA a run. Read what I said about the RSL players in my comment above; I haven’t forgotten about the other players on the squad but also feel like they haven’t given RSL the kind of production that we expected when the season began — ESPECIALLY Sabo, Paulo Jr, and Warner (who I’m still high on, but he better get it together soon).

    I’m simply being real that our recent form isn’t going to give any other teams nightmares, especially LA.

  8. Eric says:

    As bad as this may sound, I’m glad that Morales is getting back to fitness soon but I’m also worried how his return will end up affecting Luis Gil’s playing time once he’s back. Gil has been coming into his own this season so it’d be a shame to seem him go back to the bench.

  9. RM says:

    Goal Gooch!

    3-2!

    (I know this is misplaced).

  10. mbw says:

    It’s definitely going to be interesting to watch how they use Gil, who’s clearly valuable in some capacity. You’d have to think he’s going to platoon for a while at the top of the diamond, given that RSL are playing two games a week for much of the rest of the season. But once the schedule settles down and Morales is back to playing 90 minutes, maybe he competes with Johnson and Williams for one of the wing spots?

  11. mockatu says:

    Congratulations Morales!! However I think LA is the team to beat, and esp. with the inclusion of Keane

  12. V says:

    RSL is getting hot at the right time, I forsee a RSL vs LA western conference championship to decide the MLS Cup winner. Seattle may be a good challenger as well, Dallas needs consistency as fas as New York well…. Red Bulls = ?

  13. Charles says:

    Disagree with LA to win the MLS Cup.

    I think they matchup fine with Seattle, but not with Dallas and Salt Lake.

    Agree 100% it is going to be fun to the end.

  14. Charles says:

    Amazing that Seattle, Dallas and Salt Lake are missing their best players, if not their best players close to it.

    Very good teams.

  15. georg says:

    Fear him or not Morales will make a good team only better. Shield is going to go to L.A. but the Cup is wide open and my money is on RSL. Welcome back Javi.

  16. Oog says:

    Javi will be a welcome addition to the squad. Hopefully he is in form though, he hasn’t played since May, that’s going to be tough to come back into the thick of things. Hopefully he’ll get rolling for the playoffs. SS goes to the Gals, MLS Cup is open I think. Going to be a good one this year.

  17. glen says:

    Something has to be done about the hacks that destroy these players.

  18. P Dog says:

    Alvarez is a great pickup….They need someone to spell Morales until he is back in form.

  19. soccer lee says:

    Morales back will give RSL the mental and emotional edge. on the field is yet to be seen.

    any news on Seattles Zakuani coming back ?

  20. betamale says:

    not coming back this year