Real Salt Lake were dealt a crushing blow to its already thin attack when it was learned on Tuesday, March 25 the injury forward Joao Plata sustained in the club’s 1-1 draw to the LA Galaxy was worse than expected.
Plata, RSL’s leading scorer in its first three games will now miss a minimum of three weeks due to a strain of his left hamstring. Plata himself broadcast the news from his Twitter page on Tuesday.
“3 Weeks out # hamstring !!3 semanas fuera de las canchas ..#posterior..,” Plata tweeted to all of his followers in English and Spanish.
The news is not good for RSL, who is already missing Robbie Findley and Devon Sandoval. It's also not good because RSL's next opponent is unbeaten Toronto FC -- Plata's former employer.
TFC makes its annual visit to Rio Tinto Stadium later this week with the likes of U.S. international Michael Bradley, former English Premier League star striker Jermain Defoe and Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar in its lineup.
Plata’s shelving leaves Real Salt Lake with just three serviceable strikers in Olmes Garcia, Alvaro Saborio and Benji Lopez, the latter a 19-year-old yet to see any first-team action this season.
RSL also has Jordan Allen, an 18-year-old midfielder who can play forward and has already seen action in two games this season for a total of nine minutes.
Plata’s replacements at forward have combined for just one goal on the season, a Saborio strike in last week’s tie against the Galaxy.