RSL is 2-0-3 headed into Saturday's showdown at Philadelphia (1-1-3) at 2:00 p.m. on ABC 4, despite having 13 players missing games because of injury.
When asked if he has seen anything like this before, head coach Jeff Cassar said, "I haven't. I'm glad it's happening now and not later in the year. I think we can all learn from this, myself included, to change sessions a little bit."
"It seems like we have these problems mid-season," said defender Nat Borchers. "To have these problems in April is interesting."
It seems to be a revolving door for RSL when it comes to injured players. Just when Chris Wingert, Tony Beltran and Sebastian Velasquez return to action, Nick Rimando and Luis Gil go down.
"It's a long season with guys going in and guys going out," said midfielder Kyle Beckerman. "Guys need to step up. You got to take care of your body, eat right and make sure you take your multi-vitamin."
Asked what multi-vitamin he takes, Beckerman said, "Flintstones. Chewable Flintstones."
Well, Beckerman is part of the bedrock of the team.
Backup goalkeeper Jeff Attinella did a stellar job last week at Sporting Kansas City, making eight saves in helping preserve a 0-0 draw. He knew he'd be called upon several times this year with Rimando's commitment to the U.S. Men's National Team, but Attinella was pressed into duty sooner than expected. He knows he'll need a similar performance in his 6th career MLS start Saturday against the Union.
"I just have to turn the page," he said. "I enjoyed that night, but the next day I have to think about the next game. So, I'm over it and I know that the next 90 minutes are important, so that's what I'm focused on."
"I wasn't surprised," Cassar said about Attinella's performance. "He's been training great all year. We had this talk at the beginning of the year that we were going to need him. We needed him a little earlier than we anticipated, but he stepped up to the challenge for sure."
Saturday will be RSL's fourth road game to start the season, but this isn't a marquee match against a high-profile team like the L.A. Galaxy, Toronto FC or Sporting Kansas City. So, this matchup could prove be dangerous.
"I think there's always a risk with a game like this," Borchers said. "Every time we play a game that's not really billed as the big game of the week, I think that sometimes you can get complacent."
Just five games in, RSL isn't really looking at the MLS standings, but the are well aware they haven't dropped a match yet.
"It's so early, you kind of look at the standings, but there's really no point right now," Beltran said. "Maybe after ten games, then we'll start to talk about things like that. But, that's what you want especially with a tough start, four out of six on the road, that's not bad."
"We feel like we can go anywhere right now and get a result," added Cassar. "Whether it's a tie or a win, we're going to take that attitude to Philly with us."
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