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RSL eager to get back on the field

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Most Real Salt Lake players were running on empty during the final 20 minutes or so of Wednesday's loss at New England.

The fatigue definitely played a role in the outcome, particularly in the final 15 minutes when the Revolution tacked on two late goals in the 4-1 win.

With a game this Saturday looming against Kansas City, you'd think RSL would be dreading playing its third game in eight days. But considering how Wednesday's game transpired, the players can't wait to get back on the field.

"I'm happy we have a game on Saturday. We can put this game immediately behind us," said RSL defender Rusty Pierce. "It is what it is, it's a loss. We know we didn't play well and know we have a chance to bounce back Saturday. We don't have to wait a week and have it sit in our system."

If Saturday's game were on the road, perhaps Pierce wouldn't be quite so eager to get back on the field. After all, RSL is still chasing its elusive first road victory, and is now 0-10-1 on the season.

Real's players and coaches keep insisting a road victory will come soon, but in reality, "soon" may end up being the 2006 season. RSL only has five more road games, and you've got to think if it has any hopes of catching Colorado for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, eventually it needs to figure out a way to get a result on the road.

RSL's final five road matches are: Aug. 31 at D.C. United, Sept. 18 at FC Dallas, Sept. 21 at Colorado, Oct. 1 at Colorado and Oct. 8 at San Jose.

With two straight home contests, coach John Ellinger isn't concerning himself too much with those upcoming road games. He's focused on making sure Real continues to hold serve at home — where it is 5-2-3 on the season — so if a road victory ever does occur, it may actually help the team gain ground on Colorado.

Unlike last weekend's win over Chivas USA, in which Ellinger had the full complement of players to fill out his lineup card with, Salt Lake will once again be shorthanded this Saturday.

Not only is Clint Mathis suspended for two more games for his role in the midfield melee with Chivas, but fellow midfielder Seth Trembly is also suspended because of an accumulation of yellow cards.

Don't be surprised if Ellinger tweaks the lineup a little bit somewhere else to get some fresh legs on the field.

Kansas City will also be a little sluggish after playing in Chicago on Wednesday, a match it rallied to win 3-2 despite falling behind 2-0 in the first six minutes.


RSL on the air

Kansas City at Real Salt Lake at Rice-Eccles Stadium

Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

TV: None

Radio: AM-1280


E-mail: jedward@desnews.com