Real Salt Lake Must Boost Goal Scoring In 2023

Oct 24, 2022, 3:07 PM
Sergio - Cordova - Celebrates - Goal - Versus - Vancouver...
Sergio Córdova celebrates following his 61st minute goal in the match against Vancouver Whitecaps at Rio Tinto Stadium on August 20, 2022. (Photo by Laura Dearden/Real Salt Lake)
(Photo by Laura Dearden/Real Salt Lake)

SALT LAKE CITY – It is no secret, the main objective this off-season is to increase the club’s goal-scoring capability in 2023.

Real Salt Lake, scored 12 fewer goals in 2022 than they did in 2022. Interestingly, western conference teams scored a total of 703 goals in 2022 compared to 627 goals in 2021, 76 more goals were scored by teams in the western conference this year when compared to the 2021 season.

Real Salt Lake was unable to contribute to the increase in goal scoring in 2022.

Throughout last week’s exit interviews, many players commented on the frustrating season in front of goal. It was a point of emphasis for the majority of players who fronted the media to ensure that the 2023 season involves more goals being scored.

Damir Kreilach’s Return

The absence of Damir Kreilach and Bobby Wood certainly contributed to the disappointing season in front of goal. Kreilach finished the regular season in 2021 with 16 goals and 9 assists but was only able to muster 1 goal and 0 assists throughout the 5 games that he appeared in this season.

The return of Kreilach will be welcomed in 2023 and assuming the Real Salt Lake captain can remain healthy throughout the majority of the season the club will likely benefit from their former all-star.

Wood’s return, assuming the club and his representatives can agree on a new deal, will also be welcomed. Wood appeared in 14 games and managed 3 goals and 1 assist in 2022. His numbers may come across as unimpressive to most, however, when Wood was available and playing, the attacking third looked far more dynamic and threatening than in games when he was unavailable.

The Sergio Córdova Experiment

Wood compliments Sergio Córdova tremendously. He frequently makes runs to the football and holds the ball up, while Córdova makes runs in and behind the opposing back line.

Córdova struggled to find the back of the net early in the season for reasons only known to himself and those inside the club. The adjustment to Major League Soccer, a new environment, and a language barrier all likely factors to Córdova’s slow start. When Córdova first arrived at Real Salt Lake he only spoke in German to those on the team, it was the language he felt most comfortable communicating in while playing. Fortunately, Damir Kreilach, Wood, and Jasper Löffelsend all aided his integration within the group as all three of them spoke German as well.

Then the return of Jefferson Savarino provided comfort for Córdova. Savarino is a player that Córdova has known for a very long time, growing up in the Venezuelan national team ranks.

In 2021 under Pablo Mastroeni, Real Salt Lake scored the third most goals in the western conference but conceded the second most goals while doing so. In 2022 they scored the fewest goals of any team in the western conference to qualify for the playoffs but conceded the fourth fewest in the conference.

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Real Salt Lake Must Boost Goal Scoring In 2023