In 2013, Real Salt Lake looked like they had one of the deepest forward corps in MLS, with all five of them contributing either through goals or assists. RSL could easily plug and play across MLS, Open Cup, and Playoffs without a hitch. That does not seem to be the case in 2014.
Olmes Garcia was a huge part of that equation bringing a fresh energy to the club and contributing when called upon, especially in the first half of the season.
So far, the only forwards that have contributed goals or assists in MLS are Saborio and Plata. As time goes on, this could become very problematic for obvious reasons. Saborio is out with injury that could last until the end of the season which gives us one less reliable option up top. If things do not change, even when Saborio returns, the RSL scoring threats will be easy to narrow down for the opposition.
So who will step up? Robbie Findley and Devon Sandoval get a temporary pass as they both had significant offseason surgeries and are still rounding into form. Olmes Garcia, on the other hand, was widely expected to have a breakout season this year being acclimated to the league and the American culture.
When he was brought to Utah we were told, albeit with tempered language, that Garcia had all the tools to be successful. What we have seen since July of last year has been underwhelming. Olmes Garcia's last goal came on nearly a year ago, July 13, 2013. When he first came on the scene he looked tenacious and fearless.
Garcia looked like he had various weapons he could unleash that would allow him to score goals. Fans anointed him a bit too early much like they did with Paulo Jr., and now we see more than a handful of Garcia jerseys on game day.
Unfortunately, over the course of a year, he now looks like he lacks ideas and self-belief on the field. At times, he looks like he may not last long in Major League Soccer. That may very well be the case if he does not start producing. You can only keep a guy around so long because he works hard and is good in the locker room.
In 2013 MLS play, Garcia played in 24 games and over 996 minutes he was able to score 5 goals. He had 33 shots of which 15 were on goal. Thus far in 2014 he has featured in 12 games and over 680 minutes has no goals to his name. He has taken 15 shots with 5 of them being on frame.
Looking at the 2013 numbers, he should have at least a goal or two by now, but I can only remember one or two legitimate scoring chances that he got, mostly relying on his athletic ability. That is one part of the problem. He may be relying too much on his speed and strength to make something happen but is quickly (or not quickly) finding out that that is not enough. In fairness, he may benefit when he plays alongside Saborio, but it seems that he could benefit largely from Sandoval's style of play if that is the case.
It's one thing not to score, but it is another to not really threaten to score. The trend does not bode well for Olmes Garcia's professional future. I know I won't be celebrating his no-goal one year anniversary. I definitely do not want to celebrate the two year anniversary either, but he might not be around long enough to see it. How many players can you name that did not score a goal for more than a year that stayed on with RSL?