Kreis: Garcia "has all the tools"
SANDY, Utah — If MLS fans weren't yet familiar with the name "Olmes Garcia," they will be after Saturday night.
The 20-year-old Colombian's two goals in a 30-minute substitute appearance at Rio Tinto Stadium led RSL to a 3-1 win over the MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy. But Garcia admits his go-ahead tally in the 84th minute was not exactly a textbook finish.
"Kyle (Beckerman) passed the ball to Javi (Javier Morales), and I was in the box and was asking for the ball. He gave me a great pass, and I hit it with my back," Garcia told reporters through a translator following the game.
The former Deportes Quindío man later added a second goal in stoppage time to ice the result and bring his total to four goals on the season in only 401 minutes of action.
Muscle strains and an adductor issue forced RSL's preseason acquisition to miss some time over the course of the season, but there's no reason to believe he can't replicate Saturday's performance now that he "feels really good and 100 percent."
"I think first and foremost it's how hungry he is," said RSL coach Jason Kreis on what makes Garcia a special player. "You can tell that this is a kid that really, really wants to do well; really, really wants to take the next step in his career. We've given him a terrific opportunity to do that.
"I think if he continues to show that kind of hunger, that kind of desire, he has all the tools. He's an excellent dribbler, excellent striker of the ball, excellent finisher, excellent with his head, excellent pace, excellent size. He's got it all — he's got it all. For me, the only question mark is the desire, and he's showing that by the boatloads.
Garcia's quality was immediately apparent to his teammates upon arrival.
"I mean when he first came in, in preseason I thought he was talented," said RSL defender Tony Beltran. "But he's such a young player to have the mentality, to have sharpness to come into these big games and to seize the moment. He's very gifted, and the fact is, he's young and I think the sky is the limit for Olmes."
While he continues to be showered in praise, the RSL striker is staying grounded and humble.
"We are always a team," he said. "I am here to apply my skills. My job is to score goals, and I thank God that I was able to score today."