LEHI — Real Salt Lake's coaching staff had to a work a bit harder Wednesday morning to make sure the team could even have a training session after Mother Nature dumped several inches of snow on the Wasatch Front.
RSL coach Jason Kreis and all of his assistant coaches spent nearly 90 minutes removing snow from the team's Xango Field practice facility. Most of the snow was pushed off the field by a tractor, but Kreis said, "there were shovels in hand for every coach."
The team pushed back the start of practice from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to give the field a little time to dry, and by the time the players arrived they were practicing under blue skies.
SITTING OUT AGAIN: Alvaro Saborio, Paulo Jr. and Nelson Gonzalez were limited in practice again on Wednesday. Excluding Gonzalez, who is nursing a more serious foot injury, the other two were more a function of making sure their nagging injuries had more time to recover.
Will Johnson, who tweaked his hamstring in Tuesday's practice, stayed back at Rio Tinto Stadium for treatment.
BEAUTIFUL WEATHER: Perfect weather is in the forecast for this Saturday's playoff game at FC Dallas. The temperature is supposed to be a high of 75 degrees, which could help RSL finally get that elusive result in Dallas. The club is 0-8-0 all-time in Big D.
"The sauna effect won't be the same in October as it was in the summer, and I think that effected our game a lot," said RSL defender Nat Borchers.
RSL's captain agreed.
"It's awesome when you can go down there and it's not ridiculously hot and humid," said Kyle Beckerman.
HARTMAN EXPECTED: FC Dallas keeper Kevin Hartman was having a fantastic season when he was injured in a freak-collision with New York's Thierry Henry back on Sept. 16.
He hasn't played since, missing six games, but Kreis expects Hartman to be back in the starting 11 this weekend.
"I think I read an article last week that said he was going to be back in goal against L.A., but he along with two other players were left out of that match, thinking they would be fully prepared for this weekend," said Kreis.
ADVANTAGEOUS MATCH-UP: RSL's playoff series with FC Dallas is a rematch of a regular-season game just two weeks ago. Kreis doesn't mind playing a team so soon again; in fact, he likes it.
"It's fresh in our mind. We won't have to necessarily look at video of them playing a different opponent, we can look at video of them play us. That should ring true in a lot of our players minds, especially what happened in the first half because we had our difficulties," said Kreis.
After a scoreless first half in that match, RSL went on to beat FC Dallas 2-0.
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