Chris Schuler is back.
While Thursday night’s loss in Houston left a bad taste in every RSL fan’s mouth, it did have a huge positive in the return of Salt Lake’s young Centerback.
Schuler played very well, especially considering he was played out of position. His only mistake was being called for a foul that resulted in a penalty kick. But it was more a bad call than a mistake by Schuler.
You be the judge of whether this penalty kick call was correct. Rimando made a save to a roar of “Ball don’t lie” from RSL fans across Twitter.
Salt Lake’s injury woes at Centerback have been at the heart of a frustrating stretch of matches. The side has already given up 33 goals this season, three fewer than all of last season’s injury-ridden run and 13 more than the record-setting performance of 2010.
Kwame Watson-Siriboe has filled in well, but he is still a young product that is working into form. A year or two from now, he will likely be a starter for his side, but he simply isn’t at the level of Borchers, Olave or Schuler.
At the start of this season, there were whispers among the media that Schuler had outplayed both Olave and Borchers in early matches. While the former Best XI selections were recovering from injury, Schuler outshone them.
He will be a critical component of Salt Lake’s playoff run, providing a substitute anywhere on the back line and contending for a starting spot in the middle.
RSL fans should be ecstatic to see him back.