Real Salt Lake seem to have received a major setback in their quest to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs, as two Salt Lake City newspapers reported Tuesday that the club's top scorer and all-time MLS goal-scoring leader Jason Kreis is likely to be out for the remainder of the season with an injury to his left ACL.
The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret Morning News reported that the 32-year-old felt a pop in his left knee during a recent training session. A preliminary diagnosis revealed a tear in the ligament, though Kreis and the club are reportedly seeking a second opinion from U.S. men's national team doctor Bert Mandelbaum.
"I'm just waiting to see what he says," Kreis told the Deseret Morning News.
Kreis will have to wait for some time for Mandelbaum's evaluation, though, as the Southern California-based doctor is reportedly out of the country. Kreis is expected to miss at least the next three games while waiting to meet with Mandelbaum, though the outlook is not good for RSL's final four games either.
Kreis has suffered an ACL tear in the same knee in the past, as he missed much of the 2003 season for the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas) after injuring the ligament. Following several months of rehab, Kreis returned to the Dallas lineup, going on to become the all-time leading scorer in the league during the 2004 season. On Aug. 13 of this year he became the first player ever to reach the 100-goal plateau in MLS. Kreis hasn't found the net since that game, but he still stands as the team's top scorer with nine goals on the season.
Real Salt Lake play their first game since Sept. 3 this Sunday when they visit Kreis' former club in Texas in a game that will be nationally televised on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. ET. A win for FC Dallas would send the club into the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in three years.
Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.