Real Salt Lake: Coach Jason Kreis not a fan of Reserve League set-up

Published: Tuesday, March 27 2012 3:45 p.m. MDT

Head coach Jason Kreis of Real Salt Lake honors the flag with his team prior to their matchup against the New York Red Bulls during the home opener at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy Saturday, March 17, 2012. RSL defeated the Red Bulls, 2-0.

Brian Nicholson, Deseret News

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SANDY — Tuesday morning, Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis put most of his players through what he said was a pretty rigorous 90-minute training session. Roughly 1,400 miles away in Chicago, RSL’s reserve team was busy playing a morning Reserve League game against the Fire.

If that seems weird to you, you’re not alone.

“It’s ridiculous. The reasoning was they wanted to treat the reserve games in a more professional manner and have them stand on their own. In my opinion, it makes it that much more unprofessional,” said Kreis.

RSL ultimately lost Tuesday’s match 1-0, but Kreis obviously wasn’t around to see it. That’s one of the many reasons Kreis isn’t a proponent of the set-up.

Two weeks ago, RSL’s reserves had a game at FC Dallas and actually flew in the day of the game.

“How’s that professional?” Kreis asked.

Because of a variety of injury concerns, RSL started three RSL Academy players against Chicago on Tuesday.

“How’s that professional?” Kreis reiterated.

RSL’s coach doesn’t like how the midweek reserve games disrupt the training sessions for everybody else, either.

Kreis said he’d love to see the Reserve League games switched back to Sunday mornings.

“The way we used to do the reserve team was the exact right way — the very next morning after the first team match. That way I can see every game. I can make a strong evaluation from those matches. We can give the players the right sense of how important they are cause we’re right there, and the cost of it would be less,” Kreis said.

Perhaps the only noteworthy thing to come out of Tuesday’s game was that Will Johnson started and played 73 minutes as he works his way back to full fitness.

Ready to roll: RSL center back Nat Borchers did not travel with the reserves to Chicago, and he said he’s ready to play this weekend.

“I feel great. This is the best I’ve felt to date after having the surgery,” Borchers said.

Borchers isn’t sure if he’ll actually play this Saturday at Portland, but with home matches against expansion Montreal next Wednesday and then Colorado on Saturday, it’s an inevitability that he’ll get plenty of playing time in the next week and a half.

Learning experience: Chivas USA’s lone goal last weekend was definitely a goal that could’ve been prevented. RSL keeper Nick Rimando said he’s watched replays of the goal and talked about it with defender Chris Schuler, and doesn’t expect it to happen again.

“The great thing about this team and the players on this team. I’m saying maybe I should punch it out, and Chris is saying maybe I should block him out. All in all, if we do those things next time, it doesn’t go into the back of the net,” Rimando said.

Neither Rimando nor Schuler have blamed the other for the mix-up, which is another example of what appears to be good team chemistry.

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