After chatting with Real Salt Lake General Manager, Garth Lagerwey, I came away with several impressions about the likely impending signing of a new foreign striker for the club. I don’t have a name or many details, but I would assume that a resolution will be reached soon, as the season is drawing near.
Here is what I do know: he’ll be young. When I mentioned Fernando Uribe (25) as a possibility, I was told that he’ll be younger. In fact, Lagerwey indicated that he “may take a little longer to adjust than older players”.
I also know that he’ll be fairly fast, and “really athletic”, and “really talented”. The player that RSL is targeting is also meant to be a building block for the future, someone that the squad hopes to have in the fold for many years to come.
So assuming that the team is able to make a deal for their targeted player, who could it be? I have no clue as to the identity, but some of these clues let me to take a look at the Colombian U-20 squad that recently won the South American championship. I’ve taken a look at some of those players – I’ve included all players on that squad who were attacking players since a winger or attacking midfielder at that age could project to a striker in MLS. Here is the list including their output over the last year:
|Mauricio Cuero||La Equidad||FW||20||0||6|
|Brayan Perea||Deportivo Cali||FW||19||6||28|
|Juan Nieto||Allianza Petrolera||FW/MF||19||4||17|
|Cristian Palomeque||Allianza Petrolera||FW/MF||18||7||17|
|Harrison Mojica||Deportivo Cali||FW||19||0||6|
Of this list, I know that Brayan Perea is not the one. I had asked RSL if there was any interest in him several weeks ago and was told that there was not. I believe that he ended up with Lazio.
Juan Quintero is out of the question as he was recently loaned to Pescara for a significant amount. He’s also more of a playmaker, but he is extremely talented.
I would have guessed that Jhon Cordoba was a longshot, as he was playing with Mexican Club Jaguares last fall, but he doesn’t appear on their current list of “jugadores”. He would be an extremely interesting candidate.
Mauricio Cuero was an important part of the U20 squad. The striker for La Equidad is rumored to be on the move, but I haven’t seen any indication of where he could be headed.
Miguel Borja is also an interesting candidate, but I don’t believe he’s the one based on some indicators.
Nieto and Palomeque have followed a similar path as both moved from Atletico Nacional to Allianza Petrolero on loans and together they’ve combined for 11 goals with their new squad.
I know much less about Mojica, but he’s gotten some playing time at Deportivo Cali.
Of these, I’d be most interested in seeing Cordoba head RSL’s way – that is if he’s truly currently unattached with Jaguares de Chiapas. The kid seems to be the real deal, and outside of Perea and Quintero may be the prize of that very talented U-20 squad.
Any of these kids stand out to you? Could one of be RSL’s next addition at striker?