LEHI, Utah — Real Salt Lake are in regeneration mode this week in advance of Saturday’s match against the New York Red Bulls as they enjoy their first extended stay at home in three weeks.
They have the relative luxury of playing only one game this week, which gives them a chance to rest both their bodies and minds after surviving a monster schedule during August and September.
“The biggest concern now is just fatigue — and getting the guys back and not overtraining them so that we’re really keyed and ready to go into the most important part of the season by far,” head coach Jason Kreis said. “We really have to pay attention to that, and we have to talk to the guys and make sure that we’re not training them too much.”
Without a midweek game, the team will enjoy two training sessions sandwiched between flights from New England this past weekend and to New York later this week.
“It’s nice to have a training session every now and again,” midfielder Will Johnson said, chuckling. “It’s nice just to get guys back on the same page, get a little sharpness and be able to work on a few extra things.”
Defender Nat Borchers said he feels that recovery will come gradually over the next few weeks.
“Once we get through this New York trip, we’re going to be able to see because it’s such a long trip, and it’s going to be difficult for us," Borchers said. "Once we get through this one, we get to come back home for Dallas and Cruz Azul before a short road trip to Colorado. I think that period of time is going to be the best period of time for us to heal up.”
The recuperation is important as it will further their goal over the next few weeks: tuning up for the playoffs.
“You want to get to being in your top form at that time of the year,” Kreis said.