Real Salt Lake center backs close to full strength

Published: Friday, Sept. 14 2012 6:58 p.m. MDT

SANDY — Add Kwame Watson-Siriboe's name to the list of dinged Real Salt Lake center backs. The youngster tweaked his groin in training on Monday and is likely out for two to three weeks.

For RSL's sake, at least he waited until this week to get injured.

Fellow center backs Jamison Olave and Chris Schuler trained fully this week together without limitations for the first time since mid May. Schuler has been out since May with a stress fracture in his foot, while Olave has been dealing with a hamstring injury for the past month.

Before Schuler went down with his injury, Real Salt Lake owned an MLS best 8-3-2 record. He made his long-awaited return last week against Houston, and with Olave poised to return to the starting lineup against Tauro FC in Panama this Tuesday, the Watson-Siriboe injury isn't really disconcerting.

Realistically, Schuler and Olave's return likely rendered Watson-Siriboe back to fourth-string center back anyway, a spot on the depth chart that is rarely utilized.

RSL's fourth-string center back last season, Rauwshan McKenzie, only played in two games all year. If Watson-Siriboe indeed is relegated to the bench behind Nat Borchers, Olave and Schuler for the remainder of the season, it won't be for a lack of performance.

After being acquired in a midseason trade with Chicago, he started nine of 11 games for Real Salt Lake and brought stability to a depleted position that could've become a nightmare.

RSL coach Jason Kreis joked that with all the injuries to his center backs this year, "I did something wrong this year, very wrong, because karma is not on my side."

Olave's return is tremendous news for Real Salt Lake, which posted a 2-6-3 record in the 11 league games he missed this season.

"I am 100 percent," vowed Olave on Friday. "I was out for almost a month, but now I am back. It's been very frustrating. I have had three injuries. That has never happened to me before in one year, so it's been frustrating, but I am back now."

email: jedward@desnews.com

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