RSL Notes: Kreis praises club’s depth, Schuler close to return, and more

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By TYLER GRAY

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake have seen more than their fair share of injuries, international call-ups, and suspensions, yet through it all their depth has really shone.

Despite the laundry list of absences–or perhaps because of them–it seems like every match a new player has a breakout performance.

“At the beginning of the season we had a lot of players injured didn’t we,” Kreis said, “so there were opportunities to be had, competition to be had. Guys that came in at the beginning of the season, even though maybe our results weren’t what everybody wanted or expected, we were still performing quite well and those players I think gained confidence from that.”

In the 2013 season, RSL has seen three different goalkeepers mind the net, 27 different players get a start and eight different centerback pairings.  Despite all this, RSL has scored a league-leading 39 goals and maintained their place atop the Supporter’s Shield standings.

“Every player in this group right now should be a confident person,” said Kreis. “Because I believe that if not everybody–we’re darn close to everybody–has not only just contributed for the team, but contributed in a positive fashion, contributed to either a road result or a win. Everybody has been a part of something good this year for us.”

Here are some more notes from RSL camp:

SCHULER NEARING HIS RETURN

Defender Chris Schuler has been suffering from foot troubles during the 2013 season, but a return may be near.

The St. Louis native has been a full participant in practice for a couple of weeks now and while he is working towards getting fully fit, he says he is not there just yet.

“The only way you can be 100% is to be playing games and I haven’t done that,” Schuler said. “So I’m definitely not 100% but I do feel good.”

The 6-foot-4 center back isn’t worried about earning his starting spot back but rather is focusing on what he can control.

“I just concentrate on me you know,” Schuler said. “Come out to practice everyday and do everything I can to improve. I haven’t been playing so you have to do a lot more to get back to where you’re at as opposed to maintaining something.”

SALCEDO CLAIMS DEFENSIVE CONSISTENCY KEY TO SUCCESS

Real Salt Lake secured their first shutout victory since their July 13th away game at FC Dallas when they defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 this past Saturday.

RSL centerback Carlos Salcedo reflected on the win earlier this week, speaking about the importance of defensive continuity going forward.

“We talked about it,” said Salcedo. “We got to do our best to keep the shutout because with scoring one goal, basically we’ll win the game, and that’s how it’s gonna be from now on.

“Every game is going to be like the playoffs. We got to know how to manage the games.”

The return of fullbacks Tony Beltran and Chris Wingert also helped to bolster RSL’s weakened backline and Salcedo hopes the current back four can continue to play together.

“It feels good to have those guys back,” said Salcedo. “If you check our stats, we’ve been doing pretty good with our back four of Wingert, Beltran, (Nat) Borchers and myself. We’ve just got to keep doing our thing, what we’ve been doing and how we’ve been getting success.”

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What are your thoughts on these notes? Which player from RSL has impressed you the most this season? Does a fully fit Chris Schuler win back his starting spot?

Share your thoughts below.

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8 Responses to RSL Notes: Kreis praises club’s depth, Schuler close to return, and more

  1. Brian says:

    Jason Kreis is a phenomenal manager, and his team plays the most attractive football in MLS. They are in a tiny market, have nothing in terms of payroll vs. other teams in the league, and yet for years consistently wins and is at the top of the table.

    The team was garbage before he arrived as coach. It will not surprise me to see Kreis move on to either a bigger club domestically or abroad, and / or eventually coach the national team.

    • AshortDeparture says:

      While I can certainly see the appeal of such an offer, Kreis doesn’t strike me as the type to necessarily take it. From earlier interviews it seems he still very much sees himself as a work in progress managerially–an accurate self-assessment I think. He seems the type to hone his skills while staying at Real–at least in the current environment. If there is an ownership change or a falling out maybe then I can see him moving on, but only then.

    • Zac says:

      Not sure what you mean by “a bigger club domestically”. I suppose NY, LA, and maybe SEA could pay a manager a bit more, but I honestly doubt that Kreis would want to make such a move with the culture he’s built in his image at RSL. If we take Kreis at his word, what he has said all along is that the only move “domestically” that he would make is to the Nats if they came calling. He seems certain that he would take that job, if offered it.

    • Chris says:

      Regarding RSL’s payroll, according to this graph from the Shinguardian, there are 10 other MLS teams with lower player payrolls: link to shinguardian.files.wordpress.com

      Full article here: link to theshinguardian.com

  2. Oog says:

    Twenty-seven different starters is insane. Awesome depth! I think Schuler has his work cut out for him winning his spot back from Salcedo. He’s been playing remarkably well. I think the player that has added more to the team this year than in the past is Ned Grabavoy. He’s playing some really good team soccer this year.

  3. JRP says:

    RSL had an ownership change last year. He will have to move on to prove he can replicate his success at another club before he has a chance at the USMNT. I don’t want him to go, but I know it won’t be too long before he does. Garth deserves just as much credit as Jason. The are both great.

  4. Andrew says:

    Good update Tyler. Keep them coming.

    It’s going to be very hard for Schuler to replace Salcedo in the starting lineup. I could see Kreis rotating Borchers, Salcedo, and Schuler. Borchers will probably need some rest as the season comes to the final stretch. This should be a thrilling end to the season in MLS. So much even talent at the top of the league.