Real Salt Lake filled one of its three roster vacancies on Tuesday with the signing of MLS veteran defender Richie Kotschau, who'd been training with the team for two weeks.

The signing became official at 5 p.m. after he cleared the MLS waiver wire.

"His experience and his abilities are very important," said RSL coach Jason Kreis. "He's a smart veteran player. He's played a whole lot of MLS games."

Kotschau will provide depth for RSL at left back and left center back, according to Kreis.

During his nine-year career, Kotschau spent time with Chicago, Tampa Bay, Colorado and Columbus, and was drafted by Toronto FC in the most recent MLS expansion draft. He trained only briefly with Toronto during preseason training camp before being released.

Kotschau played 26 games for the Columbus Crew last year before suffering a broken leg late in the season.

DOING JUST FINE: Even though defender Willis Forko left Sunday's match with Chicago in the 88th minute with what appeared to be an aggravated hamstring injury, Kreis said he's fine and he'll be available for this Saturday's match at New England.

That's good news for RSL, because it was Forko's best game of the year, according to Kreis.

"He was spot on and where we needed him to be," said Kreis.

BACK IN THE SADDLE: RSL's depth at holding midfield received a big boost Tuesday when Kenny Cutler was cleared to practice for the first time in over a month after battling through an "osteitis pubis" injury, a lesser variation of a sports hernia.

With first-choice starter Carey Talley out for at least another four weeks with a slight leg fracture, Cutler's return gives RSL another option at holding midfield behind current starter Chris Lancos.

DESERVED REST: Even though Freddy Adu's teenage body can probably handle it, Kreis is cautious about wearing him out with nearly three-fourths of the season still ahead of him.

So after playing 90 minutes against Colorado on May 10, against Argentina in a U.S. Under-20 match on May 15, against Dallas on May 20 and then playing 45 minutes against Colorado on May 23, Kreis just thought Adu could use a break, hence the reason he subbed him out in the 59th minute against Chicago on Sunday.


E-mail: jedward@desnews.com