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11/23 5:00pm
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11/30 9:00pm
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Eastern Conference Championship

Real Salt Lake may be forced to make moves on transfer market if goals don't come soon

SANDY, Utah — How Real Salt Lake fare in their two games this week could have a direct bearing on whether the team makes any moves before MLS' midseason transfer window closes on Aug. 6.

“If Olmes Garcia can show that that's not a flash in the pan and he can keep scoring, if Robbie [Findley] can step up … we don't need to do anything,” general manager Garth Lagerwey said ahead of games against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday (9 pm ET, ESPN2) and the Colorado Rapids on Saturday (9 pm ET, MLS Live).

RSL have been hurting for scoring from their forwards lately, but Lagerwey isn't sold on the idea that he needs to go out and find another striker.

Lagerwey said he and head coach Jeff Cassar “have both been out looking at some options. Our preference remains, as I've expressed repeatedly, to keep our team. We think these guys have earned it. We think we have a good, veteran group.”

Joao Plata leads the team with eight goals (in 15 appearances); Alvaro Saborio is second with six (in 10 appearances). Before Garcia's two-goal outburst against Montreal last week, no other forward had scored for RSL this season.

“We've got to get Robbie Findley going here,” Lagerwey said. “But, again, this is a guy who started in the [2010] World Cup so we think that will happen, particularly now that he's getting his fitness back.”

Findley underwent major knee surgery in the offseason. And Lagerwey made it clear he's not looking for a replacement.

“As long as the team does well, as long as we're getting results, we're always going to be conservative about player movement,” he said. “Particularly in season. But that said, we need to be prepared.”

He pointed out that in RSL's first 10 games, they got 20 points and scored 23 goals, so “all was good in the world.”

With GK Nick Rimando and captain Kyle Beckerman off with the US national team and Saborio training with the Costa Rican national team (where he broke his foot) the goal was to go .500. RSL underperformed, going 1-3-2 and scoring just four goals in six games.

Since Beckerman and Rimando returned, the Claret-and-Cobalt have gone 2-1-1 and scored six goals in four games in what Lagerwey sees as “kind of phase three” of the 2014 season.

“That's not bad,” he said. “And I don't think it's a reasonable expectation that we're going to be the same without Sabo. He's one of the best strikers in the league.”

Without Saborio, the team has had to “refocus” and play less offensively and more defensively.

“Maybe you become a little bit more conservative in an effort to say, 'Here's where we are right now,'” said Lagerwey, adding that, “We hope to get Sabo out on the field by September. Hopefully, he's able to play in games by late September, early October.”