Real Salt Lake notebook: Robbie Findley ready for more action
LEHI — Last weekend, Real Salt Lake's coaching staff limited Robbie Findley to 30 minutes on the pitch to prevent him from aggravating his groin injury.
A week later, Findley is confident he can go 90 minutes if necessary.
"For sure, I know I can," he said. "If I just keep doing the things I'm doing."
His potential return to the starting lineup would be a welcome boost for an RSL squad that was shut out last weekend in Columbus, and perfect timing as well. Fellow striker Fabian Espindola sprained his ankle late in Tuesday's training session and is now questionable for Saturday's home match against Toronto FC.
Findley isn't the only key cog who could be back in the staring 11 for RSL. Javier Morales has also been training at full speed this week and he looks poised for his first start in three weeks.
"They both got through what was an extremely difficult session today," said RSL coach Jason Kreis following Tuesday's training session. "Really didn't expect either one of them to make it the whole way, but they did. So very pleased."
STAYING FIT: Real Salt Lake's players were put through a grueling day of fitness on Tuesday. Kreis was pleased with what he saw.
"It's been a while since we've done straight fitness, and I think a lot of times our guys benefit by working a little extra hard," said Kreis.
Most of the players completed the running drills in a timely manner, but defender Jamison Olave often didn't as he was clearly the player who struggled the most with his fitness. Olave had knee surgery in the offseason and several times this year he's tweaked it during matches.
NOTABLE FRIENDLY: RSL announced Wednesday that it will host the Mexican Under-21 National Team in a friendly at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, May 15, at 4 p.m.
The match takes place just two days after Real Salt Lake hosts Houston on Thursday in the ESPN2 game of the week.
The Mexican squad is preparing for the 2011 Pan American Games and qualification for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Tickets for the match are $15, but will only be $5 for season ticket holders.
NEXT OPEN CUP FOE: Real Salt Lake will be traveling to Washington in the next stage of U.S. Open Cup qualifying.
D.C. United beat FC Dallas on Wednesday night at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. to advance. A predetermined coin flip awarded the Dallas/D.C. United winner a home match in the next round, the date for which has not been set.
The winner officially qualifies for the 40-team tournament, and like the other seven qualified MLS teams receives a bye into the third round.
RSL beat San Jose only penalty kicks two weeks ago to advance to the next round of qualifying.
POTENTIALLY FATIGUED: Even though Toronto FC will be confident heading into its match against Real Salt Lake on Saturday after blanking Seattle 2-0 last weekend, not everyone will be fully rested.
Toronto hosted the lower-division Montreal Impact on Wednesday in the first of six games that will crown the Canadian champion. The three-team tournament, which also consists of lower-division Vancouver, involves home and away matches against each opponent.
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