Real Salt Lake bring in former San Jose Earthquakes player Sam Garza on trial in hope of bolstering attack
SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake ended its six-game winless streak with a victory over New England last Friday, but the team's offensive woes continue unabated.
Both of RSL's goals in the 2-1 win over the Revolution came from the spot after the referee awarded penalty kicks. That victory was important but it extended a rough stretch that has seen the Claret-and-Cobalt score only three goals from the run of play in its last seven games across all competitions — and one of those was in a US Open Cup loss to second-division Atlanta when the Silverbacks goalkeeper comically whiffed when trying to kick the ball away and RSL forward Robbie Findley walked the ball into the goal.
That lack of firepower explains why Sam Garza is training with the team this week, as Real Salt Lake look to bolster their attacking options ahead of the second half of the season.
“We just want to take a look at him because he's a great kid,” Cassar said. “I think maybe in the right system he could be really effective.”
Garza was last with the San Jose Earthquakes, but was released by the club on July 2. Cassar is familiar with Garza, and beieves the 24-year-old could aid an RSL attack that has struggled in no small part because of a rash of injuries.
Among the forwards, Alvaro Saborio is out for another 2-3 months after breaking a bone in his foot; Findley continues to struggle as he rehabs from a knee surgery he had in December; Devon Sandoval also had offseason surgery; and Joao Plata has suffered hamstring strains twice this season.
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“A dynamic player, an attacking player," Cassar said of Garza. "Had (a rib) injury that kind of set him back a little bit.”
Garza was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft and made five appearances in 2013 for the Earthquakes, all off the bench. San Jose loaned him to San Antonio of the NASL earlier this season and his only appearance for the Quakes in 2014 was off the bench in Seattle on May 17.
“Sam's a player that I've known since he was 14 years old,” said Cassar. “Coached him in the ODP team in Texas. Watched him through college.
“He's an offensive player and we've had some injuries."
Scott Pierce covers Real Salt Lake for MLSsoccer.com.