Kreis on Chivas USA, return home for Real Salt Lake: "It's huge for us"

Victor Decolongon

Chivas USA, having been revamped by the ownership group and new coach Chelís, comes to Real Salt Lake a radically different side than the one that beat RSL three games into the season.

Such is the culling of the ranks there, the only Chivas player likely to make an appearance from that match just over a year ago is goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.

The match comes off the back of a road stretch that saw RSL playing five of its first seven games on the road. With three consecutive home matches starting today, avoiding the wear and tear of travel is important, RSL coach Jason Kreis said.

"It's huge for us," he said. "To be gone for so long and travel across the country as much as we have at the beginning of the season, it's a wear and a tear and a grind. You want to be back with your family and you want to be playing in front of your family in the stands. We're happy to be here, and we're hopeful to get the folks a good performance tomorrow."

Despite returning from a broken foot suffered in the offseason, Chris Wingert will have to fight his way back through Abdoulie Mansally and Lovel Palmer, Kreis said.

"When Chris is ready, and when he looks like he's sharp enough to take advantage of his opportunity, he'll get it, as long as the other players have dipped in performance," Kreis said after Friday's training session. "I want to be completely fair in that situation. Obviously, there's going to be some benefit of the doubt that's given to a guy that's been here for so long and been a part of so many successes, but we need to be fair to the other guys as well."

Aside from Wingert, Cole Grossman remains out with a concussion, though he trained very lightly on Friday. Kyle Beckerman is also out, as he has a dislocated rib. Robbie Findley is suffering from an adductor strain but, after training fully through the week, could be in contention, while Sebastian Velasquez may be a game-time decision based on a referee ruling regarding a cast on his hand.

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