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2017 Player Profiles: Jefferson Savarino

Can he do even more in 2018?

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Los Angeles Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

It’s incredible what a couple of signings and worthwhile guidance can do to a team. When Jefferson Savarino appeared on the scene last May, he injected a youthful vigor into the team that RSL desperately needed. We were clawing at the bottom of the barrel. We had quality pieces, but there was a spark missing.

Craig Waibel made some incredible moves last year. Savarino was one of those. His skill on the ball is a thing of beauty. His movement on the field is intelligent and calculated. If there’s a piece missing, I’d say it’s in his finishing. Not that his finishing is poor, only that it can and should be better. And once it’s better, this kid’s going to be a slayer in MLS.

2017 RSL Striking Corps Stats

If we take a look at the chart, RSL’s only attacking player with more goals per minute is Luis Silva. When we take these numbers and give Savarino the minutes that Rusnak played, it puts him at 9.25 goals. That’s not bad, but I think we should expect even more. We’re at our best when everyone on the team is contributing, not just one superstar carrying the team on his back. That’s what we need. And more goals like this.

Savarino has the skill and the pedigree to be a solid contributor. Six goals and five assists over twenty-two games is a good baseline. That’s contribution on a goal every two matches. With more productivity, better morale and cohesion on the team, and a running vision from day one under Petke, I’m counting on Savarino to be atop the team MVP ballot for RSL next season.