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Everton Luiz suffers potential MCL issue, says Juarez

Luiz was replaced by Nick Besler in the starting lineup against Sporting Kansas City.

Real Salt Lake v Minnesota United FC Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

In what is news that could have significant implications for Real Salt Lake, midfielder Everton Luiz has been ruled out of today’s match against Sporting Kansas City with a potential MCL issue.

In the pre-match broadcast, RSL coach Freddy Juarez indicated Luiz’s having been ruled out was precautionary, emphasizing a lack of certainty in the diagnosis.

Luiz, 32, started against Minnesota United last week. The injury appears to have taken place during training this week.

Nick Besler is starting in Luiz’s stead against Sporting Kansas City, but a larger question remains hanging: What does the midfield look like without Luiz? Under former RSL coach Mike Petke, Besler was largely preferred as a center back, but he has rarely featured there for current RSL coach Freddy Juarez.

The change does add some clarity to what Juarez may be doing tactically with his lineups. Replacing Luiz with Besler may indicate a preference to keep Albert Rusnak in wide positions, although there’s a good deal of assumption involved in that diagnosis.

We’ll report more when we hear it.