So Jason Kreis wasn't pleased with the way the RSL Reserves were run over by FC Dallas today. It's not that surprising as the reserves haven't been good all year. Because of all the injuries to the first team this year, some key reserve players have been called up to bigger better things (today was the exception with Sebastian Velasquez, Jonny Steele, Paulo Jr., and Yordany Alvarez all getting time) and you can hardly blame them for that.
Still, in reserve play, results are secondary to development and what really had Jason Kreis unhappy was the lackluster effort from the team. They didn't play the "RSL way." What is particularly disappointing about today's result was that after half of the reserves season, and a record of 0-4-1, the team hasn't seemed to improve. Kreis stressed that point. He wanted to see players fighting for spots on the first team and show that they have put in the hard work. It just wasn't there today. Further yet, the team now has two months before they play again.
So what to do? The U.S. Open Cup is coming up in June and many of these players will get their shot then but that is still two months away as well. One major problem in Salt Lake is the lack of competition for these players. There are no college soccer programs nearby other than BYU. One idea is to have a round-robin tournament with the Ogden Outlaws, BYU, and the RSL Reserves. It might take some juggling but could be an idea for all involved. Another idea is to put together an all-star team from adult league around the valley and have the Reserves play that team a couple of times. It would be a good experience for the local guys and could give some of the younger Reserves a good challenge.
No matter what it is, something must be done. Because of their success with players like Chris Schuler and Luis Gil, RSL is known as a team that can develop players. However, they risk falling behind if they can not find a way to get these players games. Loans are possible for some of them, but time with management is also important. It is also important to get academy players training with the first team as well. For a club that has been so successful in all elements of the game, it is important that RSL find success with the Reserve team.