A last minute grab in the summer transfer window, Bryan Oviedo didn't get the chance to suit up for RSL until late in the season. His first 90 minute start came against Austin in mid-September, only three games before the end of the regular season. It's relatively safe to say that over those 434 minutes of split starts and cameo's, that we have yet to get a full read on what Ovideo offers RSL, or for that matter what he can offer when fully fit and acclimated with the team. However, the signs that we have seen so far are mostly promising, and despite the brief time at the club, has already proven quite capable.
Having played minutes at left wing, left wing back, as well as his primary role, left back; Oviedo didn't have a clearly defined role with the team. He was technically solid with the ball, and a work horse on the left side, rather impressively getting up and down the byline despite being well into the second half of his career.
In the must-win decision day game against Portland, he not only assisted the first goal, but the second as well in a 3-1 playoff clinching win. For that match and the playoff game in Austin, he was deployed as a left back with Brody playing on the right side, foreshadowing a potential log jam of full backs between himself, Brody, and Herrera going into next season.
His five starts with RSL provided Oviedo the fitness to not only make the squad for Costa Rica at the World Cup, but even as a starter in all three of their matches. He played practically every single minute at the tournament for Costa Rica, despite the quick turn-around between matches and lengthy spells of time added on each game. In all three fixtures he played in his natural left-back position, but at times converted to a wing-back his team planted three center backs in defense.
The highlight of this from an RSL standpoint was not just having an active player at the World Cup, but also the experience Oviedo added to his belt. Just on the left side over those three games, the soon-to-be 33-year-old cut his teeth against the likes of Ferran Torres (Barcelona), César Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Leroy Sané (Bayern Munich), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), alongside a plethora of world class midfielders and strikers that worked their way over to his side over the course of a match.
What's next for Bryan Oviedo?
Bryan stated he has enjoyed his start to life in Utah. While the talent to be a starter in Salt Lake is clearly there, it will be interesting to see how things shake out positionally. At the end of last season, it would not have been a stretch to say that we looked our best with him on the left and Brody on the right. While this would leave out Herrera, the eye test against Portland and Austin in the final two games is awfully encouraging.
That said, it seems he could be deployed on the left wing or as a wing-back to accommodate putting all three players on the field at once. Regardless of how things pan out over pre-season in regards to formations, expect Oviedo to be battling for starting minutes in the upcoming campaign anywhere on the left.
- Goals: 0
- Assists: 2
- Matches Played: 7
- Minutes: 434