Demar Phillips came to Real Salt Lake with decently high expectations. Staff, ownership, and pundits talked up his arrival as something fans would be excited to watch.
The usually spot on Brian Dunseth went as far as to say that "Demar Phillips will be the most underrated acquisition of the 2015 season." That was a bold statement that the most die-hard RSL fans heard and, whether or not Dunny intended it, built some expectations of what that might look like. In my mind, I expected at the very least a handful of assists and a few goals as well as disciplined, entertaining play on the field.
Clearly, Phillips was not the most underrated acquisition of 2015. I don't know if he would even make a "Top 10" list of underrated acquisitions. Naturally, those sorts of expectations led to a letdown. On the other hand, Phillips was serviceable for the better part of the season. His strengths included his athleticism, experience, and determination. His speed and power gave the opposition fits quite often. His biggest asset was just that, shoring up his side of the field regardless of the athlete he faced. For that alone, he should be commended as a wise pickup in 2015.
He ended the season with zero goals or assists across all competitions, a disappointment with or without expectations. Phillips was not shy with his tackles and was sent off or substituted after putting the team in jeopardy a few times. Overall, Phillips could have a much better campaign if he is to return. He has plenty of tools but never quite put them to full use.