Sam Johnson’s Third MLS Goal Not Enough to Rescue Real Salt Lake

Liberian international striker Sam Johnson has scored his third Major League Soccer goal in his ninth game over the weekend, but he was unable to prevent his team from bowing to a 2-1 defeat at home to the Portland Timbers.

Having lost their previous game away at LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake were hoping to earn a win at home against the Timbers as they continue their fight for a place in the playoffs. However, they conceded their second successive defeat to the Timbers who were one place below them on the western conference table.

The visitors got the lead in the 34th minute through Sebastian Blanco but Sam Johnson leveled the score for Real Salt Lake in the 62nd minute. Two minutes after, he saw his team trailing again when Portland restored their lead through Diego Valeri, who scored his 70th MLS goal.

The defeat leaves Real Salt Lake eighth on the western conference table with 10 points from 10 games, leveled on points with their conquerors, Portland, who are ninth on the table, and the tenth-placed Sporting Kansas City.

Meanwhile, Johnson has voiced out his frustration about his teammates for refusing to trust him on the pitch during the team’s training sessions and games.

The Liberian international spoke to the Major League Soccer website on Sunday after the defeat to the Timbers.  When asked about his feelings about scoring his team’s only goal at home, Johnson said he wasn’t happy because his teammates lack confidence in him. Whenever he is on the pitch in games and on the training ground, Johnson said he’s not trusted with the ball. He urged his teammates to trust him as a striker for the team.

“I’m not really feeling happy. I have to express myself now,” he said. “I’m just doing a run around for the guys. Even when training, it’s difficult for me to get the ball from them. They can see that I’m running around, and not very often I get the ball. I’m just running around on the field. They have to trust me, I’m a player on the team. They have to trust me. I’m a striker for them.”

The former Valerenga star striker accused his teammates of not playing him the ball when he is in the right position. He admitted that it has been very difficult for him with the team’s style of play.

He added, “When you see me going, you’ve got to give the ball, you’ve got to trust me. They brought me here and they have to trust me. If one or two times in a game, it really gets me frustrated. I’m just trying to do my best for the fans to see what I can do. It’s been really hard for me.”

Despite the complaints, Johnson promised to make the most from the few opportunities he will get when he’s playing. He thanked his teammate Corey Baird for assisting him in the goal against Portland Timber.

Sam Johnson will be hoping to score more goals on Sunday, May 12 when Real Salt Lake travels away to the Colorado Rapids.

Featured photo courtesy of Real Salt Lake

T Kla Wesley Jr.

T. Kla Wesley Jr. is a member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia.

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