By Michael Black (MLSSoccer.com)
SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake rookie forward Devon Sandoval has an excellent chance to start this weekend against FC Dallas with regular starter Álvaro Saborío away with Costa Rica for a pair of World Cup qualifiers.
“He has just been really, really good, really working hard,” RSL head coach Jason Kreis said after seeing Sandoval in last weekend’s reserve game vs. Colorado. “We calculate the ground he covers during a game … and to have a forward that covers the most ground on your entire team is saying something. I think he covered like six or seven miles — on top of playing some minutes in the first-team game.
“It’s just showing how extremely hungry he is, and I think it will show in the end that people that want it that badly, will tend to succeed in our setup.”
Sandoval had an all-effort type goal in RSL’s 2-1 Reserve League win over Colorado this past Saturday, when the 6-foot-1, 185-pound rookie ran smack into Steward Ceus, the 6-foot-6, 205-pound Rapids ‘keeper before dispossessing him at the top of the box and putting the ball into the open net.
According to Sandoval, it was a typical goal for him.
“I’m feeling it still. That was a pretty good little collision, but I was pretty happy with that goal for sure,” he said. “Most my goals come from effort, scrappy goals like that. I guess that is just my style.”
Sandoval knows he is in contention to get the starting nod to pair with speedster Robbie Findley, but that knowledge hasn’t changed his approach for training this week.
“There’s no added pressure,” he said. “I have a pretty high standard for myself that I set, and I just try to work as hard as I can everyday. If that happens on Saturday, if I start, I’ll be happy, but no matter what, if I get in I’m going to work as hard as I can and do whatever I can to help us win.”