Javier Morales celebration vs Philadelphia 0314

Javier Morales continues to astound in his ninth season with Real Salt Lake

Javier Morales has found a way to defy age.

This has been well-documented in recent years as the 35-year-old Argentine as continued to be among the top midfield playmakers in MLS.  His importance to Real Salt Lake is immeasurable, but statistically he has been among the best goal creators in MLS throughout his career.  Where that becomes more astounding is in the last three years, where even as he has gotten older he has stayed ruthlessly efficient in his production.

“It would have to be a long segment to explain how important Javi is to this team and the community.  What I really enjoy watching is that his desire has not dropped at all.  In fact, it seems to grow,” Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar said.  “That’s someone that never feels comfortable.  He’s always trying to improve and prove a point and get better and have the team get better.  He’s a special person and a special player.”

This season, only three players have more goals and more assists than Morales.  Although he ranks 25th in the league with seven goals, only three players higher than him on the goal charts have more assists as well – Sebastian Giovinco in Toronto, Kansas City’s Benny Feilhaber and Ethan Finlay with Columbus.

This season
Morales – 7 G, 10 A
Giovinco – 17 G, 13 A
Feilhaber – 8 G, 14 A
Finlay – 8 G, 13 A

Walk that stat back a bit, and Morales’ place in MLS becomes even clearer, as nobody surpassed him in both categories over the last two seasons.  2014 MLS MVP Robbie Keane from the LA Galaxy and Finlay are close, but don’t quite surpass RSL’s midfield maestro.

Last two seasons
Morales – 16 G, 22 A

Finlay – 19 G, 20 A
Keane – 34 G, 21 A
Martins – 29 G, 17 A
Dempsey – 23 G, 17 A
Nguyen – 23 G, 14 A

Even going back three seasons, Morales is among the best.  Two players – Federico Higuain from Columbus and Portland’s Diego Valeri – have more assists but not more goals.  And Keane has over twice as many goals and has matched the 32 assists contributed by Morales.

Last three seasons
Morales – 24 G, 32 A

Keane – 50 G, 32 A
Martins – 37 G, 21 A
Donovan – 20 G, 28 A
Valeri – 23 G, 33 A
Higuain – 29 G, 23 A