Tom Smart, Deseret News
SANDY — Producing goals from the midfield is a key component of Real Salt Lake's attack.
Javier Morales and Luke Mulholland both lead the midfielders in scoring this season with five goals apiece, and the latter is probably not who you’d you expect.
Mulholland has thrived in his first season with the club, and according to coach Jeff Cassar the club is getting exactly what it expected from the former North American Soccer League product.
“Without a doubt. He’s giving us everything that we’ve asked of him,” said Cassar. “Are there some areas he can work on? I do believe so. And when he gets better in those areas I think we’ll even see a more productive Luke on both sides of the ball.”
“Cool Hand Luke,” as he’s been coined by RSL faithful, admits there’s still some fine-tuning that could improve his game.
“There’s still room for improvement," said Mulholland. "I’m definitely just working to get my fitness back up and trying to help the team and keep my spot in the starting 11."
In 20 games this season, Mulholland has started 13 games.
“Our coach reminds us not to leave anything in the tank, as opposed to trying to last the whole 90 minutes. We’ve got quality players in the whole squad, so depending on whatever your fitness levels are like, just leave it all out there and put in a good effort,” said Mulholland. ”If you're done after 60 minutes, that’s when you put your hand up and bring some other quality players on the field.”
QUICK TURNAROUND: Fair or not, RSL departs for a Rocky Mountain Cup showdown just days removed from its 1-1 draw against New York.
It will be the club's third match in nine days.
“We have a couple of days. Maybe just focus on what we need to do as a team, and not so much them,” said RSL forward Robbie Findley. “I feel like a lot of the teams play us the same way. They know what we do, so maybe we need to focus more on our performance.”
SO CLOSE: Nick Rimando was about 40 minutes from tying Kevin Hartman’s all-time shutout record of 112 on Wednesday.
Rimando has been flirting with the record for some time, but at 111 it feels like it’s so close, yet so far away.
No need to blame Rimando for allowing the Thierry Henry equalizer.
Sometimes patience is a virtue.
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