SANDY, Utah – The cavalry is coming for Real Salt Lake. And not a moment too soon for the Claret-and-Cobalt's offense.
Newly signed forward Sebastián Jaime is expected to arrive in Utah “possibly late next week,” head coach Jeff Cassar told reporters on Monday, and the return of Álvaro Saborío could follow soon thereafter.
The club cleared room on its roster for the newly acquired Argentine forward (above) by trading defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe to New York City FC for a 2016 fourth-round pick on Monday. Acquired from Chicago in June 2012, Watson-Siriboe hasn't been on the field since he tore his ACL in a reserve game on June 15, 2013.
RSL acquired Jaime last week from Chilean Primera División club Unión Española, a move that Cassar called “huge.” The 27-year-old has scored 39 goals in 124 appearances for Unión Española, helping to lead the team to the Supercopa de Chile and Primera División crowns in 2013.
“It's an awesome statement from our ownership that we're committed,” Cassar said. “[We] told the guys he's another piece to the puzzle” of getting back to the playoffs and the MLS Cup final.
RSL's offense has picked up the pace recently – nine goals in five games; three wins and two ties – but the team struggled mightily when it lost Saborío. The club's all-time leading scorer started the first 10 games of the 2014 before heading off to train with the Costa Rican national team, where he fractured a metatarsal in his right foot.
According to Cassar, Saborío has been doing “great” in rehab and is expected to return to the team on Aug. 25. He'll do “light running” for a couple of weeks before returning to training.
“He's [champing] at the bit,” Cassar said.
And RSL are champing at the bit to get Jaime on the field as visa issues are worked out.
“His work rate is unbelievable,” Cassar said. “[He] doesn't stop; very persistent. And then when he does have the ball, he's got very good technical ability. So he's not just a one-trick pony, he really does have it all. He's good with both feet. He's a very technical player.”
And contrary to some reports that put him at 5-feet-9½, Cassar insisted Jaime has “good size. I think he's 5-11 – almost 6 foot.”
The coach said he and general manager Garth Lagerwey were looking for a forward who would mesh well with Saborio, when he returns, as well as RSL's other forwards.
“We were looking for people who could play with all of our forwards," Cassar said. “He also plays in a 4-3-3 down there, plays in a 4-4-2 down there, so he's very versatile.
"I think it just gives us another arsenal to play possibly different ways in the future. Maybe not right now, but in the future play a different formation if we go a different route.”
Real Salt Lake host Club Tijuana of the Liga MX in a friendly on Tuesday (10 pm ET) before returning to league play on Saturday, when first-place Seattle come to town (2:30 pm ET, NBCSN, free stream on NBCSports.com).