Sam Johnson pleads with Real Salt Lake teammates: Give me the ball

Real Salt Lake striker Sam Johnson has a simple request for his teammates: Give me the ball.

The Liberian scored his third goal for the club on Saturday, but RSL fell 2-1 to the Portland Timbers, their second straight loss. After the match, Johnson vented frustration. 

"I’m not really feeling happy. … I have to express myself now," Johnson said. "I’m just doing a run around for the guys. Even when training it’s difficult for me to get the ball from them. They can see that I’m running around, and not very often I get the ball. I’m just running around on the field. They have to trust me, I’m a player on the team. They have to trust me. I’m a striker for them."

One of Johnson's best attributes is his pace, but the timing hasn't been quite right with his teammates. Johnson was flagged for offside on four separate occasions against Portland.   

"When you see me going, you’ve got to give the ball, you’ve got to trust me," Johnson said. "They brought me here and they have to trust me. If one or two times in a game, it really gets me frustrated. I’m just trying to do my best for the fans to see what I can do. It’s been really hard for me.”

Johnson has now made five straight starts for RSL and hopes to have service increased in his next appearances 

“For every opportunity, I have to make the most of it, because in every game I only get one," Johnson said. "Maybe a maximum of two. If I have one and get one will be difficult. Getting an opportunity from Corey [Baird] – which was a very good pass. It was a service. I appreciate it a lot. Thank you, Corey, thank you very much – I found the back of the net, I think it’s good.”