Real Salt Lake never wanted to rush Jamison Olave out the door. It’s just that management around Rio Tinto liked a couple of the young center backs, and they thought letting the big center back go elsewhere represented the smartest salary management.
Besides, the Colombian defender had trouble staying on the field. Early in his career it was discipline issues. Later, it was injuries.
Olave has done well so far at New York, starting 21 of 25 games to date. Now, however, the team’s top defender is out for one match and possibly a second at a time when the Red Bulls need every possible point.
Looking on the bright side of life, the Red Bulls are in second place in the East. From the other side, Mike Petke’s team is a mere six points from not even making the playoffs. That’s how tight the playoff race is, with eight teams still realistically in the hunt for five spots.
Olave limped out of his team’s scoreless draw with Philadelphia last weekend; team officials said Tuesday he was probably out 10-12 days with a quad tear.
The Red Bulls travel cross country this weekend to meet Chivas USA; the Goats are a little better right now than their 4-13-6 record would say, slightly better organized than before and fortified in the back by Carlos Bocanegra.
After that, Petke’s team gets D.C. United at home on Aug. 31. (The Red Bulls schedule is here.)