LEHI, Utah — Real Salt Lake are searching for answers at the forward spot in the absence of their top four options, and Jean Alexandre may be the leading option to step into the starting lineup.
Álvaro Saborío (Costa Rica) and Arturo Alvarez (El Salvador) have been called up for Gold Cup duty, and Paulo Jr. and Fabián Espíndola are both facing injuries, leaving the Haitian youngster Alexandre as perhaps the main man when RSL host the Seattle Sounders (9 pm ET, Direct Kick, MatchDay Live).
“I like it,” Alexandre said of the striker position. “I played it in college, but at this level you have to be a step faster than at the college level. I’m ready for the opportunity.”
Alexandre joined RSL in 2009 via the 12th pick in the SuperDraft, after having a prolific career at Lynn University in Florida. He scored 23 goals in the 2008 season after making a switch to center forward for his senior campaign.
“We’ve been working with him in the training sessions, and spending time with him afterwards, and going through video,” heads coach Jason Kreis said. “He’s certainly eager for that opportunity if that’s what we choose.”
Alexandre has long been tabbed as a holding midfielder in the RSL system, but he said Thursday he has no reservations about turning back the clock to his college days.
“I feel comfortable,” he said. “I’m a team player and if the team needs me to play forward, I’m going to play my best up top. If it’s center midfielder or in the back, I’m going to do my best, and it will be good enough.”
Alexandre has, in fact, carried over some of his collegiate scoring touch to the pro ranks. He scored four goals in nine games when RSL loaned him out to the Austin Aztex in USL-1 in 2009.
“I played forward slash attacking midfield, and I did well over there,” he said “It’s not a position that I’m foreign to. I kind of know what I’m doing up there. I don’t feel any pressure. I’m just ready — no nerves, no pressure.”