When Real Salt Lake took to the training field on Tuesday, the club had a new face in the mix when midfielder Luis Silva took part in his first session with his new club after coming over in a trade from D.C. United last week. Although he was limited to technical drills before moving into fitness work on the side of the field because of a lingering groin injury, he already got a good sense of his new teammates.
“This looks like a great group of guys. Very welcoming. So I’m very excited to get started,” Silva said after training on Tuesday. “I haven’t really done a full session. But I was looking at the training session and it looked fun. It looked competitive and intense. I’m up to the challenge.”
Silva and the team were cautious in his first session. And although he is itching to get on the field and play when RSL takes on rival Sporting Kansas City on Friday in a Pioneer Day clash at Rio Tinto Stadium, Head Coach Jeff Cassar is erring in favor of cautiousness knowing the club with play four games in 12 days to kick off August and will have 13 regular season matches, four CONCACAF Champions League matches and one or two matches in the U.S. Open Cup left on the schedule before the playoffs start.
“Everything felt good. I think we’re going to take it day-by-day,” Silva said. “We just have to take it slowly.”
On Saturday, Silva got his first taste of Rio Tinto Stadium when he wasn’t a visitor. Sitting in the press box level, he was able to see a great performance by the team in a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo and a tremendous showing from the 20,174 RSL faithful that packed the stands.
“It was fun. A great, great crowd. I think it’s one of the best ones in MLS,” Silva said. “They’re into the game. That makes it fun to play.”
The 26-year-old will have plenty of opportunity to play in his new home stadium in the coming months and show what made him D.C. United’s co-leading scorer in each of the last two seasons.