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Strike Force: Robbie Findley closing in on a return after reserves appearance

It’s been a bit now since we’ve seen Robbie Findley out there in an MLS game.

Matt Montgomery

An offseason surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right knee was successful, and his return marched forward when he played 61 minutes for RSL’s reserves on Sunday.

He wasn’t quite back to his old self — but he wasn’t far off. He got forward quickly and well, stretching play and forcing play in a way only a pacy player can.

The most encouraging thing, though, was that he didn’t actively try to avoid getting into challenges. He continued to run at players, run around players, and put himself in dangerous positions.

At one point in that game with the reserves, he went down under a hard challenge. He stayed down. It was all a bit nervy, but importantly, he got back up, got a little treatment, and came back into the match without missing much more than a beat.

Robbie Findley’s return bodes well for our counterattacking play that we’ve at times lacked. Should he continue from the point at which he left off in the playoffs, things could begin to look very positive indeed.

Olmes Garcia

In other news about strikers, Olmes Garcia scored a nice little goal on Sunday for the reserves, which could be the boost to his confidence he needed. He has at times looked uneasy with his play, particularly when Joao Plata was out, but re-finding his finishing touch could be vital — particularly as we so often need a striker off the bench to change the pace of the game while remaining dangerous.

Benji Lopez

Youth international striker and RSL academy graduate (and RSL squad player, wouldn’t you know) could be on his way out of the team. He recently had a trial with the youth team at Greek club Panathanaikos, and according to a report from Greece, there remains a chance that he’d sign with them on a full-time basis.

What exactly that means for Real Salt Lake remains to be seen, but with other academy players and graduates tempting options in attack, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the club trod upon the same path with that last squad position.