Olman Vargas: The Weight of Expectations

Drew Hallowell

Big things were expected of Vargas, injury and a goal drought derailed them.

Olman Vargas arrived from Costa Rica in the off season. After a solid couple of campaigns with Herediano, he was expected to lead the line and score his share of goals. 11 appearances and a goal later, it's clear that 2012 didn't go to plan.

Vargas came into camp suffering from a lingering injury and struggled to get healthy and fit for the season. He made his debut in the opening game loss to Colorado, getting 23 minutes as a substitute. He started in the following 6 games, scoring a goal and going the distance in 4 of them. An injury against Vancouver in late April kept him out of two more games.

Following his start in San Jose, Vargas had started in 7 of the 10 games the Crew had played, appearing as a sub in another. The team was struggling to score, but there wasn't any signs he was headed for the bench. It would make the high point of his season as Vargas would appear in 3 more games for the rest of the season.

Ultimately Vargas found the bench as results and a influx of talent forced him out of the lineup. He's a holdup target forward with great passing vision and skill. Jairo Arrieta showed similar skills, but was more mobile and could create his own shot. Vargas doesn't fit well into the mobile Crew offense and his $170,000 salary takes up a lot of salary budget space.

Final Grade: 4 - After high expectations, Vargas fell flat with one goal in 11 games. The offense is now built around the interplay of Arrieta and Higuain.

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