24 Under 24, presented by adidas: #7 Joao Plata, Real Salt Lake

7. Joao Plata

Pos: F | Real Salt Lake | Age: 22

Last Year in 24U24: N/A
2014 Stats: Matches played: 22 | Goals: 13 | Assists: 5
Castrol Index (as of 9/24/14): #5 


The diminutive Ecuadorian forward has been nothing short of huge this year, particularly after Alvaro Saborio went down with a knee injury. Plata’s 13 goals are tied for 6th in the league, and RSL are 7-1-4 when he scores. His quickness and desire to combine make him the perfect withdrawn forward for RSL’s pass-and-move style.

What the technical staffers say: "You've got to keep your eye on him. He's so dangerous. He's not a playmaker but he can create. He's not a goalscorer but he can score. He's just always a danger in the attacking third. What will happen when the roster starts to turn over? Can he mature enough to be the focal point of their attack?"

What Opta Sports says: Has scored .59 goals per game this season, which is a better average than any other player under 24.

What do you think of Joao Plata? Tell us in the comments below.

 

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