Real Salt Lake notebook: Fabian Espindola taking what defense gives him
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SANDY — The scouting report on Fabian Espindola is make him go right.
After the past week, it might be time for opponents to alter that defensive philosophy against the lefty.
Four nights after he burned Chivas USA defender Rauwshan McKenzie in the box by going to his right, Espindola did the same thing to Los Angeles defender David Junior Lopes.
In just the ninth minute, Espindola found himself in a 1v1 situation with Lopes near the right edge of the penalty area. Lopes was completely overplaying Espindola's left, practically daring him to go right. The RSL striker gladly took a touch to the end line and then drilled a cross into the mixer that Kyle Beckerman easily buried for the 1-0 lead.
Fifteen minutes later, Espindola recorded his third assist of the season on a driven ball into the box that Alvaro Saborio narrowly flicked over L.A. keeper Josh Saunders.
NEARING FULL STRENGTH: Javier Morales played the final half hour of his second straight match on Wednesday, and RSL coach Jason Kreis said his all-star midfielder is getting closer to full strength.
"He's getting there. Come Saturday we'll take a real strong look at if he can start and at least give us 45 or 60 and build toward 90," said Kreis.
STREAK ENDER: Wednesday's stunning loss was the first time this year that Real Salt Lake lost a match on just three or four days of rest. Its record coming in on short rest was 4-0-2.
It will have an opportunity for a quick bounce back this Saturday when it faces San Jose on short rest once again.
NEW ADDITION: Following a three-week trial with Real Salt Lake, defender/forward Kenny Mansally officially joined the team on Wednesday.
The club released Leone Cruz to make room for the 23-year-old Gambian.
"It feels great to have the opportunity to play with one of the best teams in MLS," said Mansally in a press release statement. "This organization has been doing really well, for a long time, now they are first in the West. It will be hard to just jump in, but I'm going to work hard, and I'm very happy to be here."
Mansally was released by the New England Revolution on May 4 following a six-year stint with the club that began when he was 17. He made 89 appearances with the Revolution, including 47 starts and nine goals.
Mansally was primarily used as a forward with New England, but in 10 appearances with the Gambian National Team he's been used as a left back.
LATE START: Wednesday's match started about 15 minutes late because the Los Angeles team bus got stuck in traffic on I-15 because of an accident.
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