For all that Arturo Alvarez has proven in his eight MLS seasons, Real Salt Lake say they will be demanding even more from their newly acquired winger.
“There will certainly be a bit of a transition because we’re going to ask him to be fitter and work harder than he has in any other club that he’s played for,” RSL head coach Jason Kreis told MLSsoccer.com.
RSL landed Alvarez in a trade with the Portland Timbers following the 2010 Expansion Draft in November, giving up a 2011 second round SuperDraft selection.
While the left-footed Houston native operated primarily as a right winger in his time with the San Jose Earthquakes, Kreis says RSL plan to look at Alvarez in two primary positions, at forward and in midfield.
“We’re going to be open-minded,” Kreis said of the Salvadoran international, whose highest goal-scoring output came in 2009, when he scored five times. “You have to give a player with his abilities every chance to succeed.”
Kreis told The Salt Lake Tribune he had been eyeing Alvarez since becoming a coach but the price was too high when the club attempted to make a move for him before the 2008 season.
“He’s a very technical player and he’s the type of player who likes to combine with others around him," Kreis said. "I think that he can bring something to the table that we don’t have a lot of, and that’s the ability to break things down one-on-one.”
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