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Sandy • It's been six months since Justen Glad last walked out of a tunnel as a starter. The last time being Real Salt Lake's 0-0 draw in El Salvador against Santa Tecla FC in CONCACAF Champions League group play on Sept. 15, 2015.
But the 19-year-old is preparing potentially for his first start since last September this weekend as center back Jamison Olave continues to work through a quadriceps strain that kept him out of training most of the week. Glad said he's ready if called upon to face the reigning MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers this weekend at Providence Park.
"I think if you're prepared, [the rust] can be dealt with being thrown into a game like that and starting a game," he said Thursday. "I think as soon as the adrenaline kicks in too, you're kind of hyper-focused and ready to go."
The RSL academy product from Tucson, Ariz., said he feels more fit to handle situations like this than he was in his first couple seasons as a professional. He saw time in seven RSL matches in 2015, making six starts in league play. Glad also made seven starts on loan for Real Monarchs in USL play, scoring the club's first-ever home goal last April.
"Having that experience under my belt, just makes it easier to step up and perform every game," he said.
The promising young central defender has dealt with a series of injuries early on in his career, including concussions and two knee surgeries to repair torn meniscus. Glad underwent successful offseason meniscus surgery in November, but said Thursday he "feels great."
Olave's status remains up in the air for the Timbers tilt, but should the RSL staff choose to rest the 34-year-old, Glad already has his a portion of his scouting report for Portland down.
"We've got to keep it solid in the back, apply pressure to them and don't let them get anything easy," Glad said. "It's going to be tough with [Fanendo] Adi up top, but I think we can deal with it."
» RSL GM says club targeting two Euro-based center backs
Craig Waibel told the Tribune that the list of international center backs RSL is chasing has been whittled down from eight to five and now down to three. Waibel said RSL is intently scouting a 29-year-old central defender playing in Belgium and a 26-year-old playing in the Netherlands.
RSL head scout Andy Williams was in the Netherlands taking in a FC Twente vs. ADO Den Haag match.
"We specifically targeted two and we're doing our homework on both," Waibel said. "We're watching a lot of games on them, we're really testing personality, the fit, as well as the financial side of it now."
» Training notes
Forward Olmes Garcia was not at training Thursday. The RSL forward suffered a first-degree ankle sprain Tuesday at America First Field. Olave trained, but also spent time once again with head athletic trainer Tyson Pace doing rehab drills.
» Sunny Obayan fined
RSL midfielder Sunny Obayan was fined an undisclosed amount Thursday by Major League Soccer's Disciplinary Committee for his embellishment in the 85th minute of RSL's 2-1 win over Seattle Saturday. The foul whistled on Seattle's Osvaldo Alonso led to RSL's eventual game-winning goal by Olave in the 86th minute.