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Not So Friendly Salt Lake-Guadalajara Clash

Covering the exhibition game between Real Salt Lake and Chivas de Guadalajara, Michael C. Lewis writes: "Coach Jason Kreis was eager to find out which of his Real Salt Lake players would fight for the team as it heads into the last desperate stretch of its Major League Soccer season next week, and now he knows: Just about all of them."

In a heated friendly that nearly escalated into something far more serious, RSL tied Guadalajara 1-1 in front of 16,646 mostly pro-Chivas fans at Rio Tinto Stadium. Chipping at one another from almost the start, the teams combined for five yellow cards in the first half. Just before halftime, a shoving match ignited between the two teams at midfield. RSL's Jamison Olave and Chivas' Edgar Solis received red cards for their parts in the exchange.

Many RSL players sustained injuries during the game, potentially devastating blows to the team's slim hopes of reaching the playoffs in its final three games. Javier Morales suffered a badly sprained ankle, while team officials fear Ned Grabavoy broke his foot. "It's always good to play friendlies," midfielder Will Johnson said. "But ... these guys, they just come in and kick you, and some dirty plays have led to quite possibly the end of seasons for some of our important players." Despite the injuries to his players, Kreis could take stock in the spirit and effort his side showed against one of the most storied teams in Mexico. "Our guys didn't have a whole lot of letdown," Kreis said.

Read the whole story at Salt Lake Tribune »

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