2013 Player Profiles: Joao Plata finds stability at RSL, creative success

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Plata was selected 49th in the 2011 draft by Toronto. That year he made 26 appearances and had 3 goals and 5 assists. Things looked fairly bright for the small forward, but in 2012 after 10 games he was sent on loan to Ecuadoran team LDU Quito for the remainder of the year.

RSL acquired Plata in Jan. 2013 from Toronto for a second round draft pick in 2015. In Joao we could see parallels with Fabian Espindola's work rate and willingness to challenge defenders. It was hoped he would certainly do better than our former 3rd choice striker, Paulo Jr.

In the first game of 2013 vs San Jose, Plata was subbed on and became the game-changer registering a fantastic assist to Alvaro Saborio in the '71st to open the scoring, and nearly making it 3-0 in the closing minute off a breakaway. His first goal for RSL came vs Chivas on May 19th in the '48th from a Kyle Beckerman deflection.

Arguably, Plata's best game for RSL came in the 4-2 win vs Portland on Aug. 30th where he registered 2 assists and a goal. His 2nd assist was for Morales' memorable bicycle kick Goal of the Week.

2014 could be another great year for Joao Plata as Sabo will be out with the Costa Rico National team for the World Cup. He had excellent synergy with both Saborio and Sandoval during '12; if he can improve his teamwork with Findley as well he will prove to be a serious threat.

RSL Soapbox writers say:

Matt Montgomery: Plata is an exciting little guy, but he's clearly still growing in his game. Four goals through the season may be a bit low, but eight assists speaks well to his contribution. 2014 should see Plata racking up goals a bit more consistently -- it's certainly the next stage of his development. What's most notable is the stability he's found at Real Salt Lake, which, as Kreg points out, was lacking at Toronto.

Editor's note: This is part of a series of player profiles recapping the 2013 season and previewing the 2014 season. Player ratings were compiled via a vote by RSL Soapbox writers. Statistics are via mlssoccer.com.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join RSL Soapbox

You must be a member of RSL Soapbox to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at RSL Soapbox. You should read them.

Join RSL Soapbox

You must be a member of RSL Soapbox to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at RSL Soapbox. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker