CARSON, Calif. Depth has been a word used in Real Salt Lake circles a lot since training camp started back in early February. Coach Jason Kreis talked a lot about how the depth would improve competition in practice on a day-to-day basis.
A more subtle benefit to the depth was on display Saturday night at the Home Depot Center.
Kreis was confident that with more depth, and certain players bringing different things to the table, he could make adjustments to his line-up on a game-by-game basis based on match-ups.
With possession the utmost priority playing on the expansive field at the Home Depot Center, Kreis made three changes to his starting line-up from last Saturday's season opener against Chicago.
Kenny Deuchar and Robbie Findley, both of whom started last week's game on the bench, got the start against Chivas USA on Saturday replacing Fabian Espindola and Yura Movsisyan. In the midfield, Andy Williams was replaced by Dema Kovalenko.
Kovalenko's presence on the field no doubt gave RSL an added toughness, as he was booked with the game's first yellow card just eight minutes into the match.
A SEMI FRESH START: Looking back on his 2007 season, spent between Toronto FC and Real Salt Lake, Alecko Eskandarian doesn't believe he handled the situation all that well.
"I don't even count that as a year in my career. It was just so crazy," said Eskandarian, now with Chivas USA. "Mentally I didn't deal with it the way I should have. I realize that now, and I learned a lot from it. Everything happens for a reason."
Eskandarian, who scored his first goal late in Saturday's game, said he would've liked to have stayed at RSL, but he said the offer just wasn't good enough.
In Southern California, he feels like he's getting a fresh start.
"I love it, it's been great. I feel like I'm on a professional soccer team again. Playing in this great stadium, amazing training fields, the guys have been great, (coach) Preki's been great," said Eskandarian.
The only thing that's been a downer is his health. Eskandarian's been battling a sore groin for the past two months and was originally listed as out for Saturday's game with his old team. His condition improved slightly on Friday and he came off the bench in the 77th minute.ANOTHER START: Injuries enabled new Chivas striker Atiba Harris to make his second straight start for the Goats. Harris also scored for Chivas on Saturday.
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