Sporting Kansas City tried to combat the 20 degree temperatures for Saturday’s MLS Cup with a sub-terrain heating system, but Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis said that didn’t quite cut it.
By KATHLEEN GIER
The Kansas City Star
“Whatever kind of system they’ve got, they need to look at revising it and making it better because it was frozen,” Kreis said. “The far side of the field was frozen the entire match and the goal box that was down closest to Sporting Kansas City’s bench was completely frozen which made it difficult for both goal keepers.”
Salt Lake keeper Nick Rimando said he was most concerned about the possibility of injuries.
“I was just trying to get under the ball,” Rimando said. “You couldn’t put a lot of pressure on the field or else it would come up and you would swing left, but the ball would go right. The other side was like an ice rink. You try to get your step and pound down the ice, but it’s dangerous.”
This is the second straight match played in extremely cold weather at Sporting Park, including a playoff game against Houston two weeks ago.
“Those circumstances aren’t ideal for soccer at all. I’m glad we didn’t see more injuries tonight,” Kreis said. “I think it’s something that not only this club, but all the clubs should address in the future if we are going to have finals played in December.”
Rosell leaves game
Three minutes into the Saturday’s MLS Cup, Sporting Kansas City midfielder Oriol Rosell hit the turf with a left ankle sprain.
After meeting with trainers, he was helped off the field and directly into the locker room and did not return. He was replaced by Lawrence Olum.
Olum’s first appearance since Nov. 2 couldn’t have been much more dramatic. He came off the bench at the eight minute mark to replace Rosell.
“It’s difficult in any game, let alone a final, to lose a player three minutes into the game and make a substitution,” Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said. “When Lawrence came into the game, he did a very good job. There wasn’t any hesitation on our part to bring him in, and I thought the rest of our team handled it well over the course of the game. Sometimes you can get a little nervous when you lose an important guy like Rosell.”
Olum sustained a fractured fibula during extra time on Nov. 2 against New England and hadn’t seen any action since. He was originally expected to miss six to eight weeks.