RSL: Velasquez back in the 18 after extended absence

MLS • Midfielder helps set up Gil's goal against Columbus.
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Sandy •┬áSebastian Velasquez's August had been pretty quiet.

Coming into Saturday night, the Real Salt Lake midfielder had not made coach Jason Kreis' 18-man game-day roster since he started in New York to close out July, and he hadn't been selected for the team's 18 since Aug. 10 against Houston.

Velasquez finally saw action again, coming in as a late substitute against Columbus. His pass to Ned Grabavoy helped set up Luis Gil for RSL's third goal of the night.

At training this week, Kreis said he was not looking for anything specific from the 22-year-old Velasquez before he returned to the lineup.

"I just think sometimes not making the 18 is not so much about what you're doing," Kreis said. "It's what other people are doing."

Specifically, the coach said, the performance of midfielder Cole Grossman, who played the role of savior with a stoppage-time equalizer in Portland, has pushed Velasquez down the depth chart for now.

"He's kind of inserted himself in front of Sebastian at the moment," Kreis said. "But it doesn't mean anything. [There's] not a solution, [there's] not an answer. It's not an indication of how we feel about Sebastian. He just needs to keep going forward."

Kreis did, however, say Velasquez has shown some fatigue in recent weeks.

"So maybe he just needed a little bit of a mental and physical break," Kreis said.

Down time

Perhaps the only thing that can cool off Alvaro Saborio is himself.

After returning from international duty, the Costa Rican striker found the back of the net five times in four league games for his club.

But Saborio, who has played only 12 matches this year due to injury and call-ups, suffered a calf strain early in the week and has now missed back-to-back matches.

"Sabo came out and tried," Kreis said after training on Friday, "but he didn't like the way it felt at all."

Twitter: @aaronfalk