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2016 Player Profile: Olmes Garcia

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Olmes Garcia continued trends from previous years, and he never really made a goalscoring impact in 2016.

MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

2016 Ranking: #22

Writer Rating: 4.93

Community Rating: 5.13


Signed with RSL: 2013

Appearances: 24 (9)

Minutes: 964

Goals / Assists: 1/1

In 2016 Olmes Garcia played in 24 games, scoring one goal and marking one assist for Real Salt Lake. His fourth year with the club followed the trend seen over the past three years, with Garcia playing around 1,000 minutes, while finding himself on the score sheet at least once each of those years.

The 24-year-old striker came to the club in 2013 and immediately made an impression. Having been sold to the fan base by then GM Garth Lagerwey as a young striker who would make all our wildest dreams come true, it was exactly what we wanted to see. His time with RSL since then has been a bit of a roller coaster ride: moments and flashes of real talent followed by stretches of inconsistency and frustrating play. 2016 followed suit, with many fans feeling that it was more frustration than flashes of brilliance.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A player with speed, the expectation was that he could be used as a wing player in the 4-3-3 under Cassar in the post Jason Kreis-era. His speed, though impressive, never really seemed to amount to much on the field for the young winger. The potential is there, and a glimpse of it was seen in 2013 when Garcia scored 5 goals in 996 minutes coming in mostly as a late-game substitute.

This year, though the pattern was the same, the results slipped in almost every area except minutes played. Coming in mostly as a sub, on the wing or in the center, Olmes created fewer shots (18), shots on goal (8), and goals (1) than in any of his previous years with the club. As a efficiency comparison he scored one fewer goal than in 2015 while creating less than half the number of shots. (In 2015, he played double the minutes and scored two goals.)

There was a stretch, however, in the summer where Olmes really shined. It was during this stretch that he nabbed his goal against Chicago, after which Cassar said:

“Well I think he’s been unbelievable and could have had a few other ones at other times, but we talk about choices right, and everybody wants to rip one and hit the back of the net, and hit it off the post and come in and have a fantastic goal, but that was the right choice by him in that situation. It wrong footed the goalkeeper and it doesn’t take a blast in the back of the net. It takes a smart choice and good placement and I couldn’t be more happy that he chose that type of shot and from there and recognizing what needed to be done. How about this work ethic for this guy? It’s been off the charts for these last 3 games, and I can tell you that each and every one of these players is feeding off of that energy, and they see him working and they have to follow suit, and when everyone seeing each other work, that’s when you see good things happen.”

His work ethic during that stretch was definitely what stood out. In many ways it seemed like a completely different player on the field wearing Olmes’ number.

Now, with 2017 looming and change in the air, question marks surround Olmes’ future with Real Salt Lake.