SUNRISE, Fla. ‘ Real Salt Lake just wrapped up the first of its two Sunday training sessions, and the list of healthy participants is shrinking fast. Robbie Findley, Chris Wingert and Matias Mantilla and missed the morning training session with flu-like symptoms, as did trainer Jake Joachim.
The bug has also infected three of RSL’s coaches, including Jason Kreis.
“I don’t know what it is,” he said.
Yura Movsisyan played a little center back in one of the team’s training drills because of all the shortages.
Let me be one of the first to say I think Javier Morales is due for a big, big season. In the few training sessions I’ve seen down in Florida, he seems to be at a different level. There’s no question he’s skilled, we saw it during his few appearances last year, but in my opinion it’s all the other things that are setting him up for a big year.
He’s extremely fit, routinely at the front of the pack in all the fitness drills. He still doesn’t speak much English, but you’d never know it by how well he’s communicating with his teammates. And perhaps above all, he’s healthy and having fun. He’s always got a smile on his face and he’s always joking around with teammates, even if they don’t speak the same language. That camaraderie in my eyes is going to pay big dividends.
Kreis agreed with my assessment, but took it to another level, another encouraging sign for RSL.
“He is, and Andy Williams is too. Both of those players have come in very, very fit, have shown well on the fitness test and the fitness exercises, they’re pushing themselves and that’s excellent. I think that could be a huge signal to the rest of the group.”
Kreis reiterated that if the creative attacking midfielders are working that hard, when we all know their skill level is at times a right of passage to relax, that’s something everyone will try and mimic.
What do RSL’s fans think of Morales’ (and Williams’) commitment?