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Real Salt Lake backup Sebastian Velasquez making big impression

Sebastian Velasquez, Tony Beltran

Real Salt Lake midfielder Sebastian Velasquez, right, celebrates scoring a goal with teammate Tony Beltran during the second half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, March 10, 2012, in Carson, Calif. Real Salt Lake won 3-1.(AP Photo/Bret Hartman)


Perhaps all those concerns in Utah over Real Salt Lake’s limited depth were a little exaggerated. After all, Jason Kreis’ men undressed the Los Angeles Galaxy defense pretty good last week, despite two of RSL’s top offensive men being unable to start due to injury. So the backups did alright for themselves, clearly.

One of the young replacements was Sebastian Velasquez, 21, straight out of junior college. He created the first goal Saturday as RSL upset the Galaxy in Major League Soccer’s Week 1 big talker. And he generally didn’t look out of place against the starry Galaxy galactios.

An injury to Canadian international Will Johnson was among the reasons Velasquez was in last weekend’s starting 11. That’s the very type injury – along with the lingering recoveries to offensive bright lights Javier Morales and Alvaro Saborio, both of whom logged 23 minutes off the bench – that made “depth” such a major talking point around Real Salt Lake’s preseason training ground.

So, if players like Velasquez can hold the line pending recovery-arrival of valued starters like Johnson, then Jason Kreis can move “depth” down the list of things he worries about.

The Salt Lake Tribune’s Michael Lewis has more here on Velasquez, Johnson’s potential return and even some words of praise from England for RSL’s young midfielder.

(FYI: I know Michael. He’s a good fellow. Smart, too. So perhaps he can pull young Velasquez aside, have a quiet word with him and advise the young man this rat tail he’s rocking is a very, very bad idea.)