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Why RSL couldn’t fill their bench against FC Dallas

With 12 absences, RSL just couldn’t fill a seven-man bench.

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake was unable to fill their bench for tonight’s match on the road against FC Dallas, with only five players meeting the call for substitutes.

If that doesn’t tell you a lot about the state of things for RSL, then perhaps looking at the causes for absences would be efficacious.

Starting lineup

Matt VanOekel; Chris Wingert, Aaron Maund, Chris Schuler; Tony Beltran; Omar Holness, Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland, Joao Plata; Albert Rusnák; Yura Movsisyan

Substitutes: Lalo Fernandez, Justin Schmidt, Reagan Dunk, Jose Hernandez, Ricardo Velazco

Absences: 12

For international duty: 6 (senior: 2)

  • Nick Rimando - International duty, United States
  • Jefferson Savarino - International duty, Venezuela
  • Brooks Lennon - International duty, U.S. U-20s
  • Justen Glad - International duty, U.S. U-20s
  • Danilo Acosta - International duty, U.S. U-20s
  • Sebastian Saucedo - International duty, U.S. U-20s

For suspension: 1

  • Stephen Sunday - Disciplinary Committee decision (would have been absent through yellow card accumulation suspension otherwise)

For injury: 4

  • Chad Barrett - Long-term injury
  • David Horst - Potentially back after international break
  • Jordan Allen - Potentially back after international break
  • Demar Phillips - Potentially back after international break

For marriage arrangements: 1

  • Luis Silva - Planned wedding prior to his arrival at Real Salt Lake


That’s 12 players absent from a squad of 28, leaving RSL with only 16 players available. That means a bench of five. Further, that’s only 14 field players available in totality — which leaves RSL one shy of the extreme hardship rule for calling up a Real Monarchs player.

NOTE: This article misstated the rule for extreme hardship call-ups from Real Monarchs, stating that having 14 field players available was sufficient met requirements. The rule is fewer than 14 field players.