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2018 Dossiers: Joao Plata

Hopes of health and lots of goals from Joao Plata in 2018

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone who follows RSL has probably heard of Joao Plata, he’s the shortest player in Major League Soccer, but with one of the biggest personalities. With crazy goal celebrations, to the countless times he’s gotten ready to fight guys twice his size, he’s always ready to go. In 2017 he had 7 goals and 5 assists playing 2318 minutes.

What to know

If there is one thing to know about Plata, it’s how hungry he gets. After a season like last, where RSL just missed playoffs, he’ll want and demand better from himself and everyone around him. Having resolved his problems with Mike Petke and being healthy going into the season, he’ll be hungry and ready to go come March 3rd.

What to expect in 2018

You can expect Plata to score goals. Petke has made it pretty clear that is what he expects from Plata and that’s what Plata expects from himself. He’s paid to score goals, and looking at who is around him this season, like Albert Rusnak, it’s going to be almost impossible for him not to.

What to hope for

As we’re always hoping for with Plata, is that he stays healthy. He seems to have a knack for getting at least one injury a season that typically keeps him out for a handful of games. If all goes how we hope, we can avoid that this season. Keeping Plata healthy for the whole season is crucial to his success and the team’s success as a whole.