Real Salt Lake Midfield Depth Tested with Injuries and Suspensions

Entering Saturday’s match against the Montreal Impact, Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar had a plan for how he was going to rotate his lineups heading into a stretch of five matches – four MLS contests and an international friendly against Inter – in 14 days.  By the end of the night, he was already adapting those plans for the busy stretch.

Real Salt Lake was already without Sunday Stephen while the starting midfielder recovers from a fractured orbital.  But on Saturday, Cassar lost the services of Jamison Olave due to a calf strain and Kyle Beckerman due to yellow card accumulation for Wednesday’s meeting with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place in Vancouver.  However, even with those veterans unavailable, Cassar has confidence in his team.

“It’s difficult at times.  We put together plans for a three-game week, but those plans change immediately after a yellow card, immediately after someone picking up and injury in warmups.  You have to adapt and you have to make sure that everybody on the roster is knowing what’s to be expected because all of them are going to contribute,” Cassar said on ESPN 700’s Bill Riley Show on Tuesday.  “Our roster is a bit thin right now, but I have full confidence in the group that we’re going to put out against Vancouver to not only get a result, but to get the full three points.”

Without Beckerman and “Sunny” available, Cassar will dip into his depth in the midfield.  But with John Stertzer, Luke Mulholland and Omar Holness all logging minutes in the holding midfield roles this season, he is confident that he can get through the harrowing stretch.

“The good thing is that’s an area where we have good quality at the depth,” he said.  “We have guys who can play that position and play it well.  But with two starters out, it does test us.”

Kickoff for Wednesday’s match is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. MT on KMYU.

To hear the full interview, click here.

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