CLUB: Real Salt Lake
YEARS PRO: 6
At just 20 years of age, Jefferson Savarino is a key part of a youth movement at Real Salt Lake. The versatile attacker joined the team in May of this season, scoring six goals and five assists in 20 MLS regular season appearances. If he continues his adjustment to MLS play, he could become a building block of the RSL attack for years to come.
Capable of playing as a winger, a striker or second striker, Savarino is comfortable running the channels and taking defenders on. His playmaking ability may become a larger part of his game as time goes on if he can develop that aspect of his game, but given the way the attacking game has evolved in recent years, the Venezuelan international's versatility could prove to be a benefit as his development continues.
What the technical staffers say:
"He can break teams down on the dribble. He can measure a pass, he gets players off balance with his cuts, and he’s quick, and I think he uses that to his advantage."
"He’s a guy in front of goal who’s clever. He can shoot with power and with placement, which is a good combination, and he anticipates the play."
"He’s an exciting young player who’s not afraid to unbalance defenses and take players on."
"I’m not sure he’s the best defender, but he will put in the work to try and win the ball back."
"I watched Savarino on film, and I watched him live, and what this guy’s doing on the ball, at pace, is impressive. He can pass on the move, he can receive and change direction on the move, and he can shoot on the move…He doesn’t need to slow down. He can, he plays the game at multiple paces, he can play on the right side of the field or the left side of the field. He’s a quality player."
"I do think if he continues to improve at this rate, he’ll be starring in this league in a few years."
"When you’re a “tweener” player, it becomes a little bit of a challenge, and the team has to morph. Now, this is what makes Savarino and [Albert] Rusnak so much fun, that Savarino is paired with a guy like Rusnak, who understands how to use a player like him and keep him involved as he shows up in different spots to be effective."