Real Salt Lake Needs A Prolific Striker & Manager Freddy Juarez Knows What He Looks Like
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It has been well documented that Real Salt Lake has struggled to find a true goalscorer since the departure of Álvaro Saborío in 2015, so what does an ideal striker look like under Manager Freddy Juarez?
“It’s a guy that that first and foremost wants to run vertical. He smells blood when there’s space behind the opponent’s backline and that he knows his quality and his speed in most games more often than not that is superior to a center-back. So he wants to exploit that. That’s for me is number one,” Juarez told KSL Sports.
Playing vertical and fast is a priority for Juarez who is adamant to expose defenses that do not set up structurally in time.
“Number two is he that he does have some decent feet. So we can play good football, you know, I don’t just want someone who runs and, and if you play him a ball, he can connect. Right? And sorry, he’s got to be able to score some goals because you know, it’s like if we can get 10 or 15 goals out of our forward that would be amazing,” Juarez added.
Scoring goals, good feet, and speed are the three most important attributes to a forward under Juarez. But a striker’s role does not only involve stealing the limelight and scoring game-winners. He must also hold the ball up, play with his back to the goal, and defend when his team doesn’t have the ball.
“You have to help defend, you got to be willing to defend. I know you’re not going to defend every single play, but that’s one thing you get when you put Albert [Rusnak] up top with Damir [Kreilach] and the Damir plays the nine, you get a very well organized pair up top, and they make it tough on the opponent and they press and they’re willing,” Juarez said.
Current Hamburger SV striker and U.S. international Bobby Wood has been linked with a move to RSL. The Hawaiian native has spent his entire 10-year professional career playing in Germany where he has developed into a prolific goal-scoring threat.
Wood, 28, exemplifies a number of traits in which Juarez is looking for at the striker position.
Wood’s best and most impressive goals have occurred when he is running at opposing defenders. He is comfortable with the ball at his feet and can quickly transition a counter-attacking opportunity into a serious goal-scoring opportunity.
He also has an impressive instinct for goal. He is savvy in front of goal and understands how to utilize the space given to him by defenders.
Wood can score with his head, he is tall and strong enough to win aerial contests.
If Wood does sign with RSL, Juarez will be receiving a true striker. Wood will likely become an influential part in RSL’s climb back up the Western Conference.
His signing will also reengage and reignite a fanbase who has felt depleted and tired over the years.
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