This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Defender Chris Schuler was something of a surprise starter for RSL in its 0-0 draw against the Seattle Sounders tonight, considering many observers figured Rauwshan McKenzie might get the nod in place of suspended starter Jamison Olave, if only for the chance to make up for a rough performance in the CONCACAF Champions League last month.By the end, though, everybody was familiar with him.The rookie celebrated his 23rd birthday by making his first Major League Soccer start amid a patchwork lineup, and played a huge role in helping RSL escape with a 0-0 draw at Qwest Field site of their MLS Cup championship last year. Schuler shut down Seattle's Nate Jacqua and helped keep balls out of the penalty area."He played great," said goalkeeper Kyle Reynish, himself a back-up who found himself making a rare start. "Made things much easier for me. Didn't feel like I really had to come out and deal with a lot of the crosses, because I knew Sculer and [defender Nat Borchers] were going to give a good challenge."Coach Jason Kreis called both Schuler and Reynish "phenomenal … Both of them were right where they needed to be to make big, big plays for us."Joking asked where he had been keeping Schuler, Kreis said the coaches had intentionally brought him along slowly, something Schuler appreciated. "It's definitely good to get the first game," he said. "We got the shutout, and that's my job, so it went really well, in my opinion."The shutout was the fourth straight for RSL, which extended its shutout streak to 442 minutes second only to its 567-minute streak earlier this season.