Saborio has only played in 13 of RSL's 28 league games this season. Even with limited time on the field, the team's all-time leading goal scorer has made an impact, notching a team-best 10 goals this year.
In another year, Kreis said he may have been willing to talk with Saborio about missing national team action. But with a chance to help get his country to the World Cup in Brazil next year, the RSL coach said there is too much on the line to ask that of his striker.
"I think you can have those kinds of conversations and thinking when they're not World Cup qualifiers," he said. "But when it's a World Cup qualifier, I think it's just too important of an occasion. He's a leader on that team. He's worn the captain's armband on several occasions. He wants to represent his country the right way … and lead through actions."
Coach called up
Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando have been regular call-ups to the U.S. men's national team in recent years. But as the team prepared for a qualifying showdown with Mexico this week, another member of RSL got the nod.
Assistant coach Jeff Cassar was in Columbus helping Jurgen Klinsmann's team as the goalkeepers' coach.
"It's not very often that you get a national team call-up for your coach," Kreis said. "But their goalkeeping coach had some type of surgery and wasn't able to make it over. … Any time you can help your country qualify for a World Cup, you take that opportunity."
Out of hand
Midfielder Ned Grabavoy played with a cast on his left hand Tuesday after suffering a broken bone last week in the win over Portland.
"Obviously it's better a hand than a foot," he said. "So I guess you have to look at the positives."