RSL Notebook: Revenge a factor at Dallas
SALT LAKE CITY -- Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis insisted this
week that hopefully revenge is on the minds of his club when they visit
FC Dallas (Sunday, 5:00 pm MT, watch online).
It was FC Dallas, after all, that stunningly bounced RSL from the
postseason last year, thanks in large part to a 2-1 win in the opening
leg of the Western Conference semifinal series at Pizza Hut Park.
And considering that RSL have never in club history earned a point
against FC Dallas on the road, there’s extra motivation for RSL to make a
statement this time around.
We’re going down there hopefully with a little chip on our shoulder,
and something to prove,” Kreis said. “We need to improve week by week,
right now in our situation.”
“Hopefully there’s a little extra motivation for the guys,” midfielder Will Johnson said. “I sincerely hope so.”
Kreis did, however, play down the notion that a solid result at Pizza
Hut Park will suddenly rescue RSL from their unfamiliar current
predicament. They’re coming off a scoreless draw against Houston in
which they clearly missed injured playmaker Javier Morales, and they
need to rediscover the offensive flow that has made them one of the top
teams in MLS this season.
“It’s so early in the season that we need to focus on us, and playing
well and doing the things that we do best, because that’s what’s going
to get us results,” he said. “The revenge factor against Dallas is not
going to help us to get where we want to go over the long run.”
He also said that while RSL is clearly dealing with the loss of
Morales, FCD’s loss of star playmaker David Ferreira changes the dynamic
of the defending Western Conference champs.
“It’s a different look, because if you look at Ferreira and his body of
work since he’s been here, the majority of the good things - the
offensive things for Dallas - have come through him, and so it is a
little bit of a different look,” explained Kreis. “A little bit of a
different tactical shape without him.”
“I think all-in-all,” he added, “we’re a little bit of a different looking team as well,” he added.
Other than the long-term injury to midfielder Javier Morales, all of
the injury concerns for Real Salt Lake are currently at the forward
spot. The one bright spot this week is that Fabian Espindola has
returned to full training after missing the match against Houston with a
Unfortunately the rest of the news for the week is not positive, as
Paulo Jr. continues to sit out due to his hamstring injury. And newly
acquired striker Cody Arnoux had a setback in his road to recovery. As
he continues to rehab his left knee after surgery earlier this year, he
managed to strain the MCL in his right knee while going through some
fitness drills in training.
GM Garth Lagerwey surmised that this has put the timetable for his return back from June to July with this development.