SANDY, Utah — Everybody at Real Salt Lake knew that center back Carlos Salcedo was tough, but it's doubtful anyone had him pegged as this tough.
Just 15 hours after helping RSL beat FC Dallas 3-0 last Saturday night for the franchise's first-ever win in the state of Texas, the 19-year-old was in surgery to have his gall bladder removed.
"On a scale of one through 10, I was probably like a six, but I wanted to play that game. I wanted to be a part of the history," Salcedo told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday about playing through the pain. He was already up and moving and out to support his teammates in a Reserve League match against Vancouver. "I feel good. A little bit sore, but I am feeling pretty good."
Salcedo didn't know exactly what he was experiencing Saturday, and he remained quiet about it through the game. It wasn't until later he could take no more.
"It just kept getting worse and worse and like 1:30 in the morning I decided to call [the team's head athletic trainer Tyson Pace] and let him know I was in bad pain, and that's when they decided to come pick me up," he said.
By 3 pm, Salcedo was in surgery.
"I think it speaks a little bit to Carlos because he told me the next morning that he had actually had a lot of pain during the game in his abdomen," RSL coach Jason Kreis told reporters after training on Tuesday. "He was probably already dealing with some of the initial signs of that. Then, he had an incredible amount of pain in the middle of the night Saturday night. It seems a little odd. It seems a little bit unlucky to be a center back on our team at the moment."
Salcedo joins a long list of injured center backs for RSL. It began with Nat Borchers having quad surgery in the offseason and missing a couple games to begin the year.
Next, Chris Schuler went down with a bone stress response — the beginnings of what could turn into a stress fracture (Schuler did resume some weight-bearing training this week on the positive side). Kwame Watson-Siriboe was next to go down with a torn ACL and is out for the season.
"They said I would be able to start playing on like, Monday, so it should be a fast recovery," he said. "They said that since I am the youngest one, I should take advantage of that and heal fast."