It is no secret that Real Salt Lake struggled to score goals down the stretch in 2012. They were shutout in their final five games across all competitions, and that forced the club to head into the offseason in search of players with the type of offensive firepower that would complement Álvaro Saborío.
The sample size this year remains small, but so far the problem appears to be the same.
Through the first two matches of the 2013 season, the latest a 1-0 road loss to D.C. United, RSL have had problems getting offensive production from someone other than Saborío. The Costa Rican striker is a proven goalscorer in MLS and has both of the club's tallies this year, but the offseason departures of players like Fabián Espíndola and Will Johnson mean RSL have lost a sizable chunk of the goals they scored in 2012.
"There is no doubt [we need other players to score]," head coach Jason Kreis said after the team’s 1-0 loss at D.C. United on Saturday. "Last week [Saborío] scored both the goals for us and over the past couple of years he has really shouldered a lot of the burden of doing the scoring for us. We are going to need other players to step up and perform and be dangerous as well.
"That comes down to players like [Robbie] Findley, [Joao] Plata, [Olmes] García, Luis Gil, Sebastian Velasquez. These players are going to have to be a little bit more influential in the exacting end of the field."
If RSL do not get at least one more player to start scoring on a consistent basis, opponents' gameplans will probably look an awful lot like D.C.’s over the weekend. United focused on double teaming Saborío and defended physically, which negated the Costa Rican and Real Salt Lake's attack in the process.
"They were just all over him, smashing him" said Kyle Beckerman, "and it was just ‘Play on."