Our Take: Javier Morales has been an essential leader for Real Salt Lake since joining the team five years ago. After suffering a nasty blow to his ankle in May 2011, he made a quick return to the field after just five months of recovery. Many doubts and questions have surrounded the RSL assist leader since his injury, but he has come back to prove he still deserves time on the field. SB Nation's Matt Montgomery looks at Morales' impact on Real Salt Lake as he plays in his 125th match tomorrow night against Chivas USA:
Through those 125 matches, Morales has led the team (he is, after all, the all-time leader in assists for RSL) and has been a crucial part of the strongest core groups to grace the league. His time's not over - seven assists, only two behind his 2010 haul, would seem to indicate something significant about his continued ability to impress.
"He's become more of a two-way player and he's become a better athlete," Kreis says. "He's recognized this is a very physical and athletic league in MLS, and he's been willing to put the extra work in to make himself that much fitter, that much stronger, that much quicker."