Young Real Salt Lake Squad Plays Well In Loss
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake lost 2-1 to LAFC in heartbreaking fashion over the weekend. The game was all tied up late and RSL looked to be running away with a valuable point until LAFC centerback Walker Zimmerman, hit a sensational strike from 25 yards out and broke the heart of the visiting team.
Real Salt Lake made history over the weekend after Mike Petke started 6 homegrown players becoming the first MLS team to do so.
After the game, Mike Petke was still more than happy and proud of the way the players responded and fought.
Here is how the players were rated after the loss, on a scale of 0-10.
0-5: The player Did not play well or did not get enough minutes to judge performance correctly.
6-7: The player played well and had moments where they did not make good decisions.
8-9: The player was very impressive, had very few mistakes and offered a lot of production.
10: The player played a perfect game. No mistakes, everything the player touched turned to gold.
Nick Rimando, 8
Rimando made a number of very important saves that included a flying palm to stop Carlos Vela from scoring from a free kick in the 29th minute as well as a crucial save in the 73rd minute after Eduard Atuesta scrambled in the box and got a shot off from the 6 yard line.
Right Back: Aaron Herrera, 6
Herrera found himself at his preferred position, right back, for the first time in a while. He notched four interceptions and made two clearances along with two tackles. He looked much more comfortable at right back as he has at left back.
Center Back: Erik Holt, 7
Considering it was Holt’s professional debut, he played rather well. In a hostile environment he was able to contribute nicely. Holt ended the night with three interceptions and two clearances. He did occasionally look uneasy when the ball was at his feet, but that will improve the more minutes he gets under his belt.
Center Back: Nedum Onuoha, 8
A lot was asked of Onuoha against LAFC. He was surrounded by youth across the back four and did a great job organizing. He was the rock across the back four all night and was able to hinder the LAFC attack on a number of occasions.
Left Back: Donny Toia, 8
The first MLS action in 2019 for Toia as he slotted into the left back role. He was cautious about making runs into the attacking half and relied heavily on his defensive ability to slow down Carlos Vela. When he did get into the attack, he made himself known by whipping balls into the box. Toia can hold his head high after a valiant performance at Banc Of California Stadium.
Center Midfield: Everton Luiz, 7
Luiz is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in Major League Soccer. However, if he gets carded early on, it has a big impact on how he plays for the rest of the match. Against LAFC, Luiz was shown yellow in the fourth minute of the game due to a rough challenge on Diego Rossi. He played the rest of the game with caution. Luiz needs to learn how to not pick up cards so early in games, he is already at yellow card number three for the year, if (when) he gets two more he will be suspended for one MLS regular season game.
Center Midfield: Kyle Beckerman, 7
Kyle Beckerman did not have much of an impact against LAFC. He had a number of unsuccessful passes and also committed three fouls. Beckerman has looked at home once again, this year alongside Everton Luiz. The work ethic and leadership that Beckerman offers on a nightly basis can’t be forgotten.
Center Midfield: Damir Kreilach, 8
After scoring a brace against LAFC in the Western Conference Knockout Round last season, Kreilach got on the scorers card once again after he slotted the ball into the bottom right hand corner from the spot in the 35th minute. Kreilach was very good all evening setting up the attack and utilizing his skill to bring others into the attack.
Right Midfield: Brooks Lennon, 7
Lennon looked more at home playing on the right side of the midfield. His speed and skill was impressive at times throughout the match, as he often found himself flying down the right side and looking to create chances. Lennon needs to add more craftiness to his game however, he often gets stuck when trying to take on defenders and does not offer the skill the likes of Plata and Savarino do.
Left Midfield: Sebastian Saucedo, 8
Bofo was very dangerous, until he had to come off due to injury in the 68th minute after getting a knock to the ankle. Bofo scored late in the second half only for it to be called offside, a very suspect call to say the least. Bofo is always willing to shoot and attack defenders and was at his best again against LAFC.
Read more on Bofo’s offside goal and why it was so heavily criticized here.
Striker: Tate Schmitt, 8
The chances for Schmitt were limited against LAFC, however the young homegrown player looked calm and confident when the ball was at his feet. He was making dangerous runs off the shoulders of LAFC’s center backs when he didn’t have the ball. Schmitt was impressive and will get better the more minutes he accumulates.
Nick Besler, 5
When Besler entered the game in the 68th minute, the formation changed in a way that we have not seen under Mike Petke. Schmitt went to the left wing, Kreilach to striker, Beckerman to center attacking midfield and Besler slotted in his preferred center midfield role. Besler offered a great amount of energy to the team and was helpful on the defensive side as well, until the 92nd minute.
Justin Portillo, 1
Portillo’s Real Salt Lake and MLS debut was a nightmare. The young homegrown player came off the bench in the 75th minute and lasted nine minutes until a flying right arm made contact with Diego Rossi and Portillo was given a red card. It could be argued the late LAFC goal was a result of the Portillo red card as LAFC dominated the chances and possession as soon as Portillo was sent off.
Luis Arriaga, 1
In a last ditch effort, Arriaga was brought off the bench with only minutes remaining in stoppage time in the hopes of scoring a late equalizer. The likely hood of Arriaga having any significant impact was minute, but Mike Petke had no other option after conceding the game winner in the 92nd minute.
Real Salt Lake come home this Saturday and face F.C. Dallas at 7 p.m.
F.C. Dallas currently sit in fourth spot in the Western Conference and are coming 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids.
The RSL vs. FC Dallas game can be streamed for free on KSLSports.com as well as the KSL TV app.
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