Javier Morales could miss his first game of 2015 on Saturday with an injury, according to a report from Salt Lake Tribune reporter Chris Kamrani. Normally, we'd panic. Today, though? We're interested in seeing how it plays out.
That could leave Real Salt Lake without arguably their best player of the season, which would put Real Salt Lake in somewhat of a bind. He's been at the center of basically everything good from the team — he's even been exemplary in defense.
Jeff Cassar said Javier Morales is dealing with a groin issue and that the RSL midfielder is questionable for match against Vancouver.
— Chris Kamrani (@chriskamrani) April 17, 2015
But maybe Morales being absent is actually less damaging than it's been in the past. If he is out, RSL has a system that not just enables but encourages a shared attacking load. Let's look at it this way: The three-man midfield takes a fairly rigid approach right now. You have a defensive player, a box-to-box player, and an attacking player.
All three will get into the attack, sure, and all three certainly get into defensive phases. But each player still has a primary responsibility, and that's the biggest change here. If RSL is without Javier Morales, a probable midfield would consist of Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland, and Luis Gil. While Gil has struggled to take games by the scruff of the neck, this would open an opportunity for him to play in a system that encourages sharing that load. Mulholland isn't the most raw creative player, but he has his moments, too.
It's never preferable to play without Javier Morales — he's the heartbeat of this side — but maybe this isn't a crisis.