When Jamison Olave received Real Salt Lake’s second red card in the 69th minute of last weekend’s match at San Jose, it was pretty obvious Javier Morales’ night was done.
Coach Jason Kreis needed to sacrifice a midfielder to insert Chris Schuler into the match, and with Morales playing for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury on April 4 against Montreal, it was counterproductive to have him exert himself even more playing 11v9 soccer.
Morales would’ve like to stay on, however, and Kreis was prepared to leave him on before Olave was sent off.
“I probably would have left him on if we would’ve only been one down. I’m always going to want someone like him out there to calm things down when we have the ball to make really good decisions, but at that point we’ve got to get another defender on,” said Kreis.
After the red, Morales stayed on the field for another eight minutes before being replaced by Schuler, and Kreis was very impressed by his efforts.“Fitness wise I was pleased the work that he put in on the defensive side of the ball, even when we were down two men and he had to stay on there … and really gut out some defensive plays, you can tell he really, really cares about this team around him,” said Kreis.
For Morales, he just wants to play. After sitting out most of last season and only getting two starts through the first eight games this year, the all-star midfielder just wants minutes.
“I don’t want to wait anymore to play. If I’m ready, I want to play. I’m looking for games, I’m looking for minutes. I missed a lot of games last year and this year, I just want to play,” he said.
Knowing that, don’t be surprised if Morales is in the starting 11 for Real Salt Lake at FC Dallas Wednesday night. He said he felt good after the match in San Jose, and you can bet RSL’s coaching staff is going to do anything it can to prevent a third straight loss.
Plus, Morales is excited about the challenge of trying to win in Dallas for the first time in franchise history.
“It’s something good, because we’ve never won there. Maybe this time can be the first time. So we’re excited about that. After two losses, we need to win and we need a point. We’re going there to play our best,” said Morales.