TUCSON, Ariz. – Chris Schuler has been a savior of sorts for Real Salt Lake over the past eight months. When starting center backs Jámison Olave and Nat Borchers have missed various time with injury problems, the 24-year-old has stepped in and given Jason Kreis a reliable backup regardless of the opponent.
On Saturday night, after RSL’s win over New York in the third-place match of the Desert Diamond Cup, Kreis was full of praise yet again for 6-foot-4 man mountain after his star performance vs. the Red Bulls.
“Excellent,” RSL's head coach said of Schuler’s play. “He’s had a really strong preseason, which is following up on a really great season for him last year. He just continues to move forward and continues to impress.”
Schuler (above, right) has been the regular at left center back this preseason as Borchers continues his recovery from a torn quadriceps tendon.
Against New York, the St. Louis native was tasked with marking the equally large Kenny Cooper, which he did with aplomb. Schuler outmuscled the Red Bulls forward on several occasions, and his positioning was good all night, as was his communication with center back partner Olave.
Kreis think it’s just a matter of time until other people in high places take notice of Schuler’s strong play.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if soon we’re talking about him for national team consideration,” he said.