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Sandoval making immediate impact with RSL

SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Real Salt Lake forward Devon Sandoval is making an immediate impact in his rookie season.
SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Second round MLS draft picks often times don't even make the team, let alone become a starter.

But 2013 second round pick Devon Sandoval has made a huge impact in his rookie season with Real Salt Lake.

"Being a second round pick has definitely motivated me," Sandoval said. "I'm just trying to be real humble about it, and I'm real thankful for this opportunity because the moment you take it for granted, it will be taken away from you."

Because of injuries to players like Alvaro Saborio and Robbie Findley, Sandoval has been given an opportunity to play earlier than anyone expected, and he has made the most of it. Sandoval has played in nine games this season, starting five, and has been on the field for 9 of RSL's 13 goals scored this year. Last Wednesday against the New England, Sandoval became the only 2013 second round draft pick to score a goal this season.

"It was a weight off my shoulders," Sandoval said about his first career MLS goal. "It's been a long time coming. I put a lot of pressure on myself to score, and to finally get that first one felt really good."

Despite being a mellow, even-keeled guy off the field, Sandoval is relentless on the pitch with a tremendous work rate.

"He is an example to the rest of the players on what it takes to be successful on our team," head coach Jason Kreis said. "He's an example to the rest of the players on how much some people want to be out here."

"I can't tell you how impressed I am," added defender Chris Wingert. "His attitude has been unbelievable. He's really maximized his potential, and I think he's doing exactly what we need out of him."

Sandoval, a University of New Mexico graduate, loves playing in Utah, and hopes his rookie season can help him achieve a long-term future with RSL.

"I love it here, and love everything about this place," he said. "I love the city, the team, the coaches. This is definitely where I want to be, and I couldn't be happier."

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