Luis Silva Lopez is a 26, soon to be 27, year-old midfield was acquired from D.C. United in July which sent Álvaro Saborío in the opposite direction. A four year veteran of the league, Silva has struggled to find consistency as injuries has hampered his entire professional career. Silva, returning from one of these injuries upon reporting to Real Salt Lake, found consistency for the club but was never able to make a meaning impact on the pitch.
After entering the RSL fold, Silva appeared in all but three matches for the Claret-and-Cobalt across all competitions. Despite finding favor with head coach Jeff Cassar, Silva struggled to produce any real offense. He created a mere seven goal scoring chances with just about as many key passes. He registered only four shots on goal and failed to contribute even a single assist. This could be the result of moving to a new team or even coming back from an injury, but Silva did not produce any fireworks for the Claret-and-Cobalt his first (half) year with the Claret-and-Cobalt.
Silva, however, did manage to excel in the tangibles of the game. He was among the best when it came to passing and his ability to read the game. Silva maintained an 85 percent passing accuracy - second to only Javier Morales with 86 percent. Silva regularly kept possession for RSL who struggled with this simple aspect of the game this year. Successfully moving the ball around the field, he regularly found himself in situations like this:
Similarly, Luis Silva had the best duel winning percentage of the team. He had the first highest take on - dribbling past an opponent - rating (Luis Gil being a close second) and won more headers than anyone else. Silva made a regular meal of opponents that misjudged his abilities using only the most basic soccer techniques.
While finding consistency with the club, it is unlikely that Luis Silva lived up to expectations for RSL. This notion is predicated on the aforementioned trade. In other words, Saborio was an impact player for Real Salt Lake for many of the years he played with the side, Silva too was known as an impact player for D.C. Hoping to salvage a playoff position, RSL acquired Silva knowing his contract was up at the conclusion of the season and that he might just be able to help the club continue their seven year post-season appearance record. The club, however, failed to push above the thin red line and Silva's basic stats remained mostly barren.
Silva will most definitely have to improve defensively if he is to remain with RSL in 2016. Contributing a mere one defensive action per match, Silva will need to improve his mobility up and down the pitch. Midfielders are frequently back and forth across the midway line and required to put effort in on either side of the pitch. As Silva's defensive contribution has been all but absent, improvement in this aspect of his game would certainly go a long way.
With a salary cap hit of $131,384.00, Silva is definitely one of the higher payed players on the Claret-and-Cobalt. Despite being only a little less than one-third of Saborio's salary, this could definitely make his expendable this offseason. In addition, as previously mentioned, Silva's contract is also set to expire at the end of 2015. With these two things in mind, it is a very likely possibility that Silva could have made his final appearance for RSL.
Silva's importance to the club is also contingent on the outcome of Luis Gil. As Gil's contract is also set to expire at the end of the year, his inclination to stay or depart from the club will almost certainly affect the contract of Silva as it pertains to Real Salt Lake. Both of these young attacking midfielders' fates are intertwined with RSL and it will be interesting to watch how it unfolds in the coming months, but one thing going for Silva is that he has caught the attention of Cassar — something Gil has struggled to do over the past two seasons.
Similarly, Silva's fate might also be subject to Jeff Cassar remaining head coach of RSL.
Whatever his fate at RSL, Luis Silva is a young professional whose strengths greatly outweigh his weaknesses and will likely have a long career a head of him.