RSL: Under the weather

Wintry conditions hamper RSL's playoff preparations
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Skiers might be loving the winter weather that has blown through the Wasatch Front the past couple of days. But soccer players, not so much.

Rain, snow and cold temperatures have disrupted Real Salt Lake's training for the second leg of its Major League Soccer playoff series against Chivas USA on Saturday - forcing the team to cancel today's training session after having to adjust its schedule the past two days.

"It has made things a little bit imperfect, not ideal," coach Jason Kreis said. "But at the end of the day, the guys have put in good effort as we've asked them to. . . . It's still a testament to our guys' work and their mentality."

Though players downplayed concerns about their preparation, RSL shortened its workout amid blustery conditions at XanGo Field in Lehi on Tuesday as the storm front moved in, then moved its workout indoors Wednesday to the Eccles Field House at the University of Utah. But the team is leaving today for Los Angeles, where it expects to conduct two training sessions in better weather before the game.

"That's showing up to be a good decision," defender Chris Wingert said.

Call to the Hall

Assistant coach Robin Fraser is among the candidates for induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, having been included with two dozen others on the annual ballot. Fraser played 10 years in MLS, winning defender of the year honors once and selection to the MLS Best XI four times. Coincidentally, coach Preki Radosavljevic of Chivas USA is also on the list, for having been a four-time all-star and two-time most valuable player and scoring champion for the Kansas City Wizards.

Trouble in back?

Defender Ian Joy sat out most of training with a nagging leg injury, and Kreis said he's "up in the air" for the Chivas game.

Joy has dealt with his nagging injury intermittently for some time - "on prior occasions, he has taken a day off in the middle of the week and been fine for the weekend," Kreis said - but has started every game of RSL's six-game unbeaten streak.

He said he would be ready for the Goats, but if he's not, defender Robbie Russell probably would replace him.

RSL at Chivas USA


Saturday, 8:30 p.m., FSC