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Beltran: "Juan is the real deal" after instant impact at RSL

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Juan Manuel Martinez — "El Burrito," as the crowd chanted in the second half, which the striker acknowledged — has been a game-changer for Real Salt Lake, and his home debut is prompting praise from all sides.

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Beltran had nothing but praise for Juan Manuel Martinez after Real Salt Lake's 3-0 win over LA Galaxy, who, despite not scoring a goal himself, was directly involved in the build-up to two of the three for the home side.

"Juan is the real deal," Beltran told reporters after the match. "He's quality, through-and-through. The thing that has impressed me the most is two-fold. Number one that he's adapted so quickly to MLS play. Number two his work rate is incredible."

Martinez won the penalty for the second goal, which Javier Morales tucked away after the striker burst past the LA Galaxy defense and was fouled in the process. And his assist for Devon Sandoval's second goal on the night — RSL's third — was incredible, with the winger keeping hold of the ball in the box despite being swarmed by defenders.

Beltran's comments continue below.

His desire, his passion, his determination to win. You can see that in his play. He's been absolutely fantastic, massive for us. I think it also takes pressure off of guys like Plata and Javier because they have someone else up there who is so creative and so determined and is capable. It's really fun to watch those guys combine and I think it's going to be a huge threat. Our offensive half is going to make a statement in the league.

— Tony Beltran, via RSL Communications