Sandy • Robbie Findley had already assisted on one Real Salt Lake goal when he ripped a curling shot for a score of his own Saturday. His teammates surrounded him, with defender Chris Wingert joyfully pointing to the name on the back of Findley’s jersey.
Some could be forgiven if they needed the reminder.
Despite having a pair of tap-in goals coming into Saturday’s match with San Jose, Findley had yet to look like the former World Cup starter who had scored in bunches and helped RSL win the MLS Cup in his first stint with the team.
Findley, however, quieted many a critic with his latest performance.
“It’s a matter of seeing playing time on a consistent basis and training on a consistent basis,” coach Jason Kreis said. “Really for this entire [season], he trained for one week and was out for one week, trained for two weeks and was out for two weeks. It’s just been very sporadic, and you just can’t find any rhythm or flow or form in that setup.”
Findley, who has dealt with a groin and knee injury off and on this year, said he was not 100 percent healthy during some of his previous outings and that “in the back of my mind I was a little hesitant to do some things and maybe was shy about some things.”
“Just going through the injury stuff and just trying to get back on the field and stay healthy, that’s probably where the confidence was lacking,” the striker said. “And it’s no more. I’m confident when I step out there.”
Findley now has three goals on the year, tied for second most on the team. With leading scorer Alvaro Saborio off with the Costa Rican national team, RSL will need even more from Findley.
“We need him to be sharp,” defender Nat Borchers said. “He’s our veteran guy up top right now. He’s been playing more than any of those guys. For him to have good games is very important to us.”
Saborio won’t be the only RSL player unavailable due to national duties. While the striker, who has missed time lately with a quad injury, is off with the Costa Rica squad, backup defender Abdoulie Mansally will be playing for Gambia.
RSL also expects midfielder Luis Gil to soon be called to join the U.S. for the Under-20 World Cup later this month in Turkey.
“I’m very excited for him,” Kreis said of Gil. “I think it could be a terrific opportunity.”
L.A. Galaxy at RSL
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
TV: Ch. 4