SALT LAKE CITY — Rain and a soggy sod surface at Empire Field forced a postponement of a July 16 match between Real Salt Lake and the Vancouver Whitecaps.
It’s a rarity for weather to impact MLS fixtures, and, at the time, RSL were vocally unhappy about the situation. But now that the make-up fixture is upon them – the match will take place Thursday – the club is singing a different tune.
“When it originally happened, one positive that we could draw out of it is that it would be another opportunity to get Javier [Morales] some minutes, and to keep us kind of in a regular rhythm to games,” head coach Jason Kreis told MLSsoccer.com. “Otherwise, we would have had two weeks from our last game to the next one, and we never like those kind of breaks.”
How long Morales plays against the ‘Caps is up to question. The RSL playmaker saw 80 minutes of action on Saturday against the LA Galaxy in just his second game back from a broken ankle suffered on May 7.
“I didn’t expect to play that long,” Morales said. “I was expecting like maybe 45 or 50 minutes, but I felt pretty good at halftime. I felt pretty good in the game, but after the game it was hard because I felt really tired.”
The turf of BC Place may not be the ideal place to get back to full match fitness, but with the playoffs looming, the Argentine will need all the preparation he can get.
“I think my strength [is the toughest to get back], especially my left leg still feels a little weak,” Morales said. “I have to keep working on that, and on my fitness. ... I’m working hard. I hope to be ready 100 percent to play in the playoffs.”
Kreis explains Beckham altercation
Kreis and Galaxy star David Beckham engaged in a heated discussion at midfield after RSL’s 2-1 loss to LA on Saturday. After shaking the hands of a few of his opponents, it appeared that Beckham shouted something at Kreis as he walked across the field, and Kreis responded. The two then exchanged words face-to-face as players and team personnel rushed to separate them.
“After the game, he wanted to, I guess, continue the discussion,” Kreis told MLSsoccer.com. “At that point, all he was doing was insulting me personally. I felt the need to then address that situation after he did it three times.”
The initial incident occurred during the match, when Kreis voiced his opinion to the referee. Beckham, apparently, took exception.
“He came over and wanted to exchange words with me during the game,” explained Kreis. “I was yelling at the referee and he came over to say something. I’m not even sure what it was, but I told him at that time that, 'I don’t want to talk to you, you are playing the game and I’m coaching.' I don’t think that’s appropriate behavior, so I just tried to dismiss him the best I could.”