Real Salt Lake's Kwame Watson-Siriboe suspended one game by MLS

Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, May 15 2013 3:55 p.m. MDT

Montreal Impact's Felipe Martins, left, scores against Real Salt Salt Lake's Kwame Watson-Siriboe defends during the first half of an MLS soccer game in Montreal, Saturday, May 11, 2013.

Graham Hughes, AP

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SANDY — When Real Salt Lake defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe kicked Montreal’s Marco Di Vaio in the face early in the second half of last Saturday’s match, RSL coach Jason Kreis didn’t think anything of it at the time.

He believed the contact was incidental, and thought everything was fine when the two shook hands after Watson-Siriboe was whistled for the foul.

Turns out he was wrong.

The MLS Disciplinary Committee announced Wednesday that it has suspended Watson-Siriboe for one game for “violent conduct that endangered the safety of his opponent.”

When asked about the suspension, Kreis said he doesn’t disagree with the decision — even though he hasn’t seen a replay.

“I’ve been a proponent honestly of the disciplinary committee acting more. I think we’ve reached a stage in our league where I don’t think the players treat each other with enough respect, and I think that stuff that happens after the ball's gone away and stuff the referee is not picking up needs to be held accountable,” said Kreis.

As a result, Watson-Siriboe will be unavailable for this Sunday’s match at Chivas USA.

NEARING FULL STRENGTH: For the first time in more than a month, Kreis might have a completely healthy squad for the game again Chivas USA.

He’s cautiously optimistic that Robbie Findley, Alvaro Saborio and Nat Borchers will all be available for selection after the trio trained fully on Wednesday.

“I believe we’ll be close. I’m hopeful that all of those players will be available. But I don’t know; it’s one of those things you watch day by day and hope for improvement, 'cause if the game's today, the answer is not,” said Kreis.

A groin injury and then a hyperextended knee have kept Findley out of the starting lineup for seven straight matches. Saborio has missed four straight with a quad injury. And Nat Borchers sat out both games of last week’s Eastern road swing because of illness.

After getting through the entire training session Wednesday, Borchers said it was good to be back.

“I feel like a new man. You take for granted your health sometimes when you are healthy, and when you lose that it’s such a bad feeling to have to miss two games because of a virus, respiratory infection like I had. (It's) such a terrible feeling,” said Borchers.

RSL LEGEND RETIRES: A year and a half after Real Salt Lake traded Robbie Russell to D.C. United, one of the heroes of RSL’s MLS Cup in 2009 announced his retirement Wednesday.

Russell, 33, has only played six minutes in 10 matches this season with D.C. and believes the timing is right to begin his pursuit of a medical degree. He’s set to enroll in Georgetown University’s post-baccalaureate pre-med program.

Russell spent the majority of his 13-year career in Europe playing in Iceland, Norway and Denmark before joining Real Salt Lake in the summer of 2008.

His arrival in Utah helped turn around a struggling franchise.

“In my eyes Robbie Russell has been a huge contributor to turning around the culture of Real Salt Lake and just somebody that should be remembered always as a big, big member of Real Salt Lake,” said Kreis.

RSL fullback Chris Wingert expects nothing but success from his old buddy, who clinched the winning penalty kick against the L.A. Galaxy in the 2009 MLS Cup.

“As a player I think he has plenty left in him, but to be honest with you he’s the type of guy that’s going to be maybe even more successful outside of his soccer career than in it,” he said.

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