Real Salt Lake's booming injury crisis seems to be easing already, with a handful of players closing in on a return to action. Jeff Cassar's weekly interview on ESPN 700 inevitably featured a discussion of the injured corps (when he wasn't being urged to talk about reality television instead of, well, the thing we all wanted to hear about.)
Sebastian Velasquez is edging closer to his first minutes of the season, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's on the plane to Philadelphia for the weekend.
Chris Wingert on his way to recovery after sitting out the last match with a groin injury, and while Cassar didn't make it absolutely clear that he'd be back for the weekend as well, signs were reassuring. Tony Beltran, too, is on the right track after picking up an injury last week on international duty.
With Rich Balchan stepping into the team very well for his first appearance, and Abdoulie Mansally making a positive impact on the left, neither Beltran nor Wingert will need to be rushed back unnecessarily.
Luis Gil is worse for wear, though, and will probably sit out this weekend with a groin injury. "We don't know how bad it is," Cassar said in the interview. "We don't think it will be anything too bad."
Robbie Findley and Joao Plata are both moving forward, with Findley likely to be back to full training early next week; Plata is "progressing positively ... (but) a little bit slower," in Cassar's words.
Cassar didn't give an update on Nick Rimando during his radio interview but did tell reporters today that he didn't anticipate the goalkeeper to be ready for Philadelphia on Saturday. After Jeff Attinella's man-of-the-match performance against Sporting Kansas City, it's difficult to get too worked up about the matter.
Chris Schuler was given a day off from training as Cassar and company try to keep his tricky fitness a non-issue. Cassar was pretty clear about the matter: "If he feels a little bit sore, we want to take it easy." Given his fitness concerns he's experienced during his career, patience with Schuler bodes well.