Mansally, Watson-Siriboe rise to occasion for Real Salt Lake
SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake turned to their two newest members to the club Wednesday night to help stop the bleeding. After giving up seven goals across three consecutive losses, head coach Jason Kreis tabbed defenders Kenny Mansally and Kwame Watson-Siriboe to start.
Both rose to the occasion as RSL posted a shutout in a 0-0 draw with the Seattle Sounders.
Mansally, who signed with the club on June 20 after being released from New England, and Watson-Siriboe, who the team traded for on June 27, replaced regular starters Tony Beltran and Jámison Olave, both out with injuries.
HIGHLIGHTS: RSL vs SEA
“I’m really pleased," Kreis said. "Kenny’s been with us now a couple of weeks and we’ve had a couple of times to work with him individually, so I felt like he was really ready for his opportunity. The past couple of days he has been very sharp in training, so I was excited to see him go out tonight and I think he proved us right a little bit. He was good, very good.
"And then Kwame, he’s a guy that’s only been with us a week and because we’ve had so many games, he really hasn’t had a full training session. So we rolled the dice a little on that one and I think he came clean as well.”
Mansally, who played mainly forward during his five seasons with the Revolution, impressed from his left fullback position despite injuring his right shoulder only seven minutes into the game.
“After the first couple of minutes, I was really pinned and it stopped me from doing throw-ins, Mansally explained. “I was feeling a little bent, so that was preventing me to go forward more, but I always keep going strong. The energy was going good, but we want a win."
Watson-Siriboe started as a center back and felt good being out on the pitch with his new teammates.
“I actually felt pretty comfortable,” he said. “I was in training the past week and all the coaches have been helping me to come together and tactically on the ball. The most thing I've been missing in my career is confidence, and here they have given me a lot of confidence to go out and play. For the first game, I thought I was OK, but we didn't get the win, and hopefully, we can go out and improve on it.”
The rest of the players felt good after watching the pair perform as well.
“It’s not ideal, but I think let’s give them credit,” said veteran midfielder Will Johnson. "They both played really well, stepped up, challenged hard and did their job. They executed and that’s what you hope for.”