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Sandy • Mike Petke has stated a few times in recent weeks that he is not a psychologist. As Real Salt Lake continues to toil in a frustration riding a four-game losing streak, RSL's coach joked and reversed course a bit Monday, saying that he did, in fact, take psychology in college.
"A large part of failure comes from people who are willing to make excuses nonstop," he said. "Injuries, about 'we didn't play well last game' or 'we're in a losing streak.' To me, that's in the past. The most important action in life is the next one, and the next one for us is Wednesday."
RSL (2-7-2) hosts New York City FC (5-3-2) on Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. NYCFC is coming off a 1-1 road draw Sunday against the last unbeaten team in MLS, FC Dallas. So no, nothing eases up for RSL.
However, some key names could be returning to the fold.
» Petke on Kyle Beckerman, who has missed the last three games with a calf injury: "Kyle will be available, knock on wood."
» Petke on Nick Rimando, who has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury: "Nick was out today doing everything. There's a good chance for Wednesday for Nick. The decision has not been made, both medically and from us yet, but it's looking promising."
» Petke on Tony Beltran, who has missed the last eight games with back and calf injuries: "Tony will not be available this Wednesday. We're looking at getting him 45 minutes on Saturday with the Monarchs, and then if he comes through that like he should, back in [with RSL]."
» Petke on Demar Phillips, who left the 4-0 loss at New England with a hamstring injury: "Demar felt something in his hamstring. He's up in the air right now. Let's just leave it there."
Midfielder Albert Rusnák trained Monday and seems to be on track to return to the RSL starting lineup after the 22-year-old Designated Player was on the bench in New England. Newcomer Jefferson Savarino also was part of the mix Monday. With roster rotations ongoing as RSL faces the midway point of three games in one week, the Venezuelan is likely to make his Rio Tinto Stadium debut Wednesday night.
Petke said "I'm not panicking whatsoever" over the state of the team, although the hits keep coming. RSL's flight back from Boston was delayed over five hours Sunday, and the team didn't return to Salt Lake City until nearly midnight. To pile on, the forecast for Wednesday calls for a winter storm watch for the Wasatch Front.