"We have to look at the results we had and ask ourselves a question whether we should be trying to get stronger in the back," he said. "Because when we missed our main guys we gave up a whole lot of goals. It's an evaluation process we have to do, and we have to consider at least trying to get better."
Gardner made more than 400 appearances for the Wanderers, scoring 23 goals before being released following the club's relegation last year.
Back at it
Chris Schuler was back in a familiar role, barking out orders to his teammates at practice Tuesday morning.
It was the start of a third straight week of full training for the 26-year-old center back, who had been held out of action since mid-May in hopes of avoiding a foot stress fracture for a second year in a row.
But even as he's made his way back onto the field, Schuler hasn't met the one benchmark that matters most.
"The only way you can be 100 percent is if you're playing games," he said. "So I'm definitely not 100 percent, but I do feel good."
For Schuler, two obstacles remain in returning to RSL's starting 11.
The first is fitness. After playing short-sided games in training the last two weeks, Schuler played on a bigger field Tuesday.
"It's definitely a different kind of fitness," he said. "It's a reality check."
The other obstacle, of course, is the play of 19-year-old rookie Carlos Salcedo, who has filled in admirably in Schuler's absence.
Schuler, however, said he isn't focused on that.
"I just concentrate on me," he said, "Come out to practice every day and do everything I can to improve. I haven't been playing so you have to do a lot more to get back to where you were at as opposed to just maintaining something."