With second leg looming, RSL injury worries compound

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

With one leg down and one to go, Real Salt Lake will be heading back to the Rio Tinto hoping that their injured ranks can sufficiently recover for Thursday's match.

With one leg down and one to go, Real Salt Lake will be heading back to the Rio Tinto hoping that their injured ranks can sufficiently recover for Thursday's match.

RSL coach Jason Kreis said there is lingering concern over the fitness of Fabian Espindola, who was replaced at the half by Paulo Jr.

"He was questionable coming into this game," Kreis said. "We knew he probably wasn't going to be able to give us 90 minutes. I think he gave us 45 minutes of everything he had, and then hopefully made a smart decision to get himself off before he hurt himself any more seriously."

Getting Jamison Olave into the match at some point was a goal, but with Kwame Watson-Siriboe suffering an injury in the second half, the goal became inevitable.

"It was my ideal plan to try to get Olave into the game to see if we can get ready for next week," Kreis said. " But we were forced into that sub because Kwame Watson-Siriboe, I think, rolled his ankle and he was limping around, and that's not the game you want to be limping around in."

Nick Rimando nearly had to come off the pitch in the second half after suffering a broken nose and cut near his right eye during a collision with Christian Tiffert, but the goalkeeper battled through the pain in what Kreis called a "brave" display.

"We thought he was going to have to come out," Kreis said. " We thought it was going to be a laceration that they couldn't get the blood stopped, and if that's the case, then he has to come out. They did a good job getting the blood stopped and Nick continued on with a real brave effort."

For his part, Rimando said he isn't worried about the injury.

"I feel good," Rimando said. "I took a hit, but I feel okay, focus, and my eye sight is fine. I'm ready to get back home and handle business on Thursday."

If Olave and Espindola are both available to play against Seattle on Thursday, it could mark the first time in months that RSL has seen their most experienced group together on the pitch.

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