Real Salt Lake notebook: Jason Kreis pushing for more attackers

Published: Wednesday, March 21 2012 8:23 p.m. MDT

RSL coach Jason Kreis

Stephen Dunn, Getty Images

SANDY — Two games is hardly a large sampling, but Real Salt Lake has proven itself to be a dangerous attacking team thus far with a league-best five goals.

Not surprisingly, coach Jason Kreis said his team has plenty of improving to do, one of which is getting more numbers involved in the attack.

Following last Saturday's win over New York, Kreis praised the movement of his team to get the ball up top to Fabian Espindola and Paulo Jr., but then said there weren't enough numbers in the attack to support them. He said two or three midfielders need to be joining the attack, and he'd like to see an outside back get involved more regularly as well.

Chris Wingert said he'd love to get involved more too, but didn't necessarily think the opportunities were there against New York.

"Every game is different. If it was up to me and Tony (Beltran) we'd be in the attacking half on every play. I'd love to do that. But at the same time you got to find a balance between picking and choosing times to go, and times when it's more important to hold and secure up the defense and not take as many risks," said Wingert.

With New York speedster Dane Richards on his side of the field, Wingert said he played it safe most the night against the Red Bulls.

The week before against Los Angeles, Wingert said there were plenty of opportunities for the outside backs to get forward and support the attack, which he said is an important element of RSL's dangerous attack.

"In an ideal situation it's a formation and a system where it can certainly help the team when our outside backs are getting forward and providing service for the rest of the guys," said Wingert.

NEARING FULL STRENGTH: RSL's quartet of injured regulars should be back to full strength within a week or two according to Kreis.

"Doctor today said as early as this weekend or next weekend we could have all of our players healthy," said Kreis. "Then you're faced with choices of if those players immediately get inserted back into the starting lineup or not. Those are decisions that will have to be made and those will be difficult ones."

Alvaro Saborio played 90 minutes in Tuesday's Reserve League 1-1 tie with Kansas City, while Nat Borchers logged 67 minutes and Will Johnson 45 minutes. Javier Morales would've played, but his wife was giving birth to their second child on Tuesday.

Once they're cleared to start, Kreis must decide whether to continue starting the guys who got RSL off to its 2-0 start, or whether to insert the regulars back into the starting 11.

"All decisions are going to be made for what's best for the team and not what's best for individuals," said Kreis.

TOUGH DAY: RSL rookie sensation Sebastian Velasquez woke up Wednesday morning to find that the car he'd purchased the day before had been broken into. Several hours later in practice, he tweaked his ankle in practice — even though he played through the pain and said he'd be fine.

"It happens I guess, it's just part of life. Just try to smile," said Velasquez.

POWER RANKINGS WATCH: Virtually every national publication in the country has Real Salt Lake sitting at No. 1 in their respective power rankings. With wins over Los Angeles and New York, it's easy to see why.

Wingert, however, doesn't put much stock into the national respect.

"We believe in our team regardless of the power rankings. This is how things started out last year, we got off to a great start, and everybody was giving us a lot of credit, which is great. Then we lost one of our best players, and more guys after that … and then everybody was writing us off," said Wingert.

"You can't get caught up in it. We just have to make sure we're doing what we need to do in order to play with a lot of confidence."

email: jedward@desnews.com

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