Alfredo Ortuño has a lot of weight placed on his shoulders for 2018. RSL needs a striker that can find the back of the net as the club lacked a standout goal scorer in 2017. Ortuño is a clinical finisher who is good with the ball at his feet. He’s an exciting addition to the squad but is still a bit of an unknown.
What to know
Center forward Alfredo Ortuño came up through the Albacete Balompié academy in the Segunda División (La Liga 2, Spain’s second division) and spent the first few years of his playing career at this club. He’s spent time in both La Liga and Segunda División, and the 27 year old signed with Real Salt Lake before the start of the 2018 season. His most prolific season was in 2016-2017 with Cádiz CF, scoring 17 goals in 42 appearances. RSL was able to bring Ortuño to the team with the league wide increase in TAM.
What to expect in 2018
Ortuño should start as the central striker. Luis Silva has proven that he can step into that position, so there should be some healthy competition. While Silva can play in multiple positions, it seems that Ortuño plays almost exclusively as a center forward. It may take some time for him to adjust to a new country and a new league. His first preseason game was not particularly impressive, but he’s moved clubs before so the hope is he’ll adapt quickly.
What to hope for
No player for Real scored more than 7 goals in 2017 and the idea is that Ortuño can be the man who helps create chances and finishes opportunities. Yura was supposed to be that player, but relationships deteriorated over the past year, and while there is currently no resolution on his contract situation, it seems unlikely he’ll take the field for the claret and cobalt again.
We want to see double digit goals from main striker and if the goals per minute stat goes up while Alfredo is on the field, then the team is trending in the right direction. It’s been a rough road for RSL in this position. The team hasn’t had a consistent goal scorer since Alvaro Saborio was traded away in 2015. This year is a chance for Ortuño to come in and make that position his own.