Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis has been underwhelmed by some of his team's defensive performances when first-choice fullbacks Chris Wingert and Tony Beltran have missed time.
And according to a Tuesday report by The Salt Lake Tribune, Kreis has addressed the problem by bringing in former Jamaican international Ricardo Gardner on trial this week.
"We have to look at the results we had and ask ourselves a question whether we should be trying to get stronger in the back," Kreis told the Tribune. "Because when we missed our main guys we gave up a whole lot of goals. It’s an evaluation process we have to do, and we have to consider at least trying to get better."
A longtime English Premier League campaigner who made more than 400 appearances over a decade-plus stint with Bolton Wanderers, Gardner (above) was a teammate of RSL assistant coach Andy Williams with the Jamaican national team for many years.
Gardner turns 35 in a few weeks and hasn't been with a club since he left Bolton when they were relegated at the end of the 2011-12 season. But Tribune reporter Aaron Falk was impressed with what he saw from the former Reggae Boy during RSL practice.
Gardner turns 35 next month, but showed some skill and speed today. Could add depth if he sticks.— Aaron Falk (@aaronfalk) August 13, 2013
RSL officials confirmed Gardner's presence with the squad but noted that trialists are a routine presence on the training ground at this time of year.