Fabian Espindola, Jamison Olave and Jonny Steele: When last we encountered these three, we were struggling at the end of a season and in need of some refreshing. Changes were, as they say, inevitable, and we shuttled them off to New York Red Bulls. We face those three on Saturday when Real Salt Lake takes on New York Red Bulls in what ought be a scintillating matchup filled with plenty of emotions.
Let's take a look at those three and how they've fared this season. Let us first look, though, at their standings: From 21 matches, they sit with 32 points — five fewer than we've earned, but certainly not a bad showing.
As mercurial a player as there has been here for some time, Fabian Espindola was both a blessing and a curse. He never failed to make his mark on a match, but sometimes, that mark was by missing an easy chance — indeed, it was that as often as it was scoring goals. In 2012, he grabbed nine goals and seven assists from 30 matches. He is not on pace to meet that, with four goals and two assists from 19 matches.
He's already nearly played as many games through the just-over-half-a-season as he did in 2012 for Real Salt Lake, playing 18 matches. He's also more goals than he had with us, with 4 from those 18. There were concerns that he'd been lost to the depths of injury, but it's nice seeing him recover. We could certainly use him now, but the allocation money we received for him, and the opportunity it provided for us to have reshaped our squad has been invaluable.
He was a man so many loved to hate, but that may well have been down to his ability to raise expectations on himself early. He scored two goals for us and found two assists, and that's just about what he's done at New York as well. But he's gone from being a late sub to being a genuine starter at New York, and that's got to be good for him as a player.