REAL SALT LAKE

Albert Rusnak Was Man Of The Match Against Cincinnati

Apr 23, 2019, 12:12 PM
Albert Rusnak #11 of Real Salt Lake controls the ball during the game against the FC Cincinnati at ...
Albert Rusnak #11 of Real Salt Lake controls the ball during the game against the FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium on April 19, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake have won consecutive games for the first time this season. The Claret and Cobalt went on the road and beat FC Cincinnati 3-0 in a dominant performance.

Not only was it the first time in which RSL has won back-to-back games, it was also the first road victory of the season.

Albert Rusnak scored a brace that included a left footed strike from 10 yards out to find the bottom right corner as well as a penalty that was rocketed into the top left. Sam Johnson added to his tally of goals, now scoring twice in his past three games.

No Nick Rimando, no problem. Andrew Putna replaced the injured 39-year old MLS veteran. The news came as a shock to most RSL fans, however, Putna put on a promising performance and kept a clean sheet, something Rimando has yet to do this season.

Here is how the players were rated after the win, 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, but 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.

Goalkeeper

Andrew Putna, 8
Putna kept a clean sheet, only having to make one save. FC Cincinnati had 14 total shots, in which only one was on frame. Fortunately, Putna was up to the task. His big frame helped RSL dominate the defensive half. Putna was also very good when he found himself with the ball, he strategically found outlet passes to get RSL out of trouble. A very good performance from the young goalkeeper in just his first start of 2019.

Defenders

Right Back: Aaron Herrera, 7
Herrera was solid at right back, again. He is far more comfortable and looks to be playing with less stress. Herrera was criticized by Mike Petke after the 2-1 win over Orlando stating that he needs to get up the field more often and help out on the attacking front. Herrera listened, his work rate was tireless and he was constantly dominating the right hand side of the pitch.

Center Back: Justen Glad, 8
Justen Glad has made a seamless transition back to the starting XI. The 22-year old, who is playing his fifth season in MLS, was very strong in his tackling efforts. His ball delivery was very sound as well, not turning the ball over and finding open teammates to spring the attack.

Center Back: Nedum Onuoha, 8
Nedum Onuoha has been the best defender for RSL this season. The veteran has controlled the defensive back four all season long, his experience combined with his leadership is priceless for Mike Petke and RSL. Another strong performance from Onuoha, a week after making MLS Team of the Week.

Left Back: Donny Toia, 7
Toia has added poise to the back four. Having a left footed player play left back allows for more consistency and Toia has proven that. When defending, he has the ability to turn towards the sideline and clear the ball, and when he pushed forward, crossing the ball on his left allows for a much better delivery.

 

Midfielders

Center Midfield: Damir Kreilach, 8
Kreilach is constantly asked to do something different every week it seems. Again, this week the big Croatian started in the middle of the field and was required to have a far more defensive mindset. He delivered, as he so often does. Kreilach played alongside Beckerman, and when RSL had the ball, Kreilach would push forward while Beckerman would stay back. The plan worked perfectly, Kreilach was heavily involved in most attacks while Beckerman was a force stopping FC Cincinnati’s counter attacks.

Center Midfield: Kyle Beckerman, 8
The savvy veteran has had a terrific year. Many RSL fans were concerned with what to expect from Beckerman this season. There is now no question that the captain still offers something to the team. His role has certainly changed as he stays further back and controls the midfield defensively. It is rare to see Beckerman join in on the attack, but his new role is working wonders for Mike Petke and RSL. Continue the great work, skip!

Right Wing: Corey Baird, 8
Baird played better than we have seen this entire year. The young American was confident and fearless, attacking defenders with every opportunity he had. The first goal came from a sensational solo run made down the left hand side, his shot ricocheted off Spencer Richey’s chest and landed at the feet of Albert Rusnak for the opening goal of the game. While Everton Luiz rehabs his injured knee, expect to see Baird play many valuable minutes moving forward.

Center Attacking Midfield: Albert Rusnak, 9
After a quite week against Orlando City, Rusnak responded with a Man of the Match performance against FC Cincinnati. Rusnak scored a brace, helping the visitors secure their first three points away from home this season. Rusnak found himself in space frequently over the 90 minutes, attacking defenders and playing outlet balls to teammates making runs. He was influential throughout the game.

Left Wing: Jefferson Savarino, 7
Savarino was quiet compared to what we expect of him. He ran at defenders, often beating them, but then found it hard to find other teammates or get a shot off. His best chance came in the first half when he cut onto his preferred right foot and barely missed the bottom left corner from 23 yards out.

Striker

Striker: Sam Johnson, 8
In just his third ever start, Johnson already has two goals to his name. His second coming this weekend in the 47th minute after two shots were deflected on the goal line by Kreilach and Baird, Johnson was there to scrap it up. Johnson offers a unique skill set to RSL, his speed, along with his size and skill makes for many headaches for opposing defenders. With more playing time, the chemistry between Johnson and his teammates will only grow. He is destined to score many more goals for RSL this season.

The Bench

Sebastian Saucedo, 4
Bofo came on in the 74th minute for Corey Baird and was able to offer a spark to the attack. Bofo gives a lot of energy and fresh legs to the team when coming off the bench and is a handy weapon for Mike Petke to utilize.

Nick Besler, 2
Besler came on in the 87th minute for Sam Johnson in the hopes of slowing the game down and controlling the football. Throughout the 6 minutes he played, Besler was good.

Joao Plata, 1
Plata came on in the 91st minute, made to take more time off the clock. His minutes were worthless as the game was over by the time Plata had a chance to touch the football.

Next Up

Real Salt Lake will travel to Los Angeles and take on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy this Sunday at 6 p.m.

The Galaxy currently sit in 2nd spot in the Western Conference with 6 wins and only 1 loss next to their name. They are coming off a 2-1 win against the Dynamo but do have a mid week game on Wednesday night at Minnesota United.

The match on Sunday can be streamed for free on KSLSports.com, as well as the KSL TV app.

Reminder

KSLSports.com in collaboration with Real Salt Lake have launched a new podcast. It is the official Real Salt Lake podcast for all your club news and updates. Tom Hackett, Spencer Warne and Director of PR for RSL Matt Gaschk break down the games and discuss important club matters.

To listen to The Lion’s Den, click here. It is available on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts. Don’t forger to rate and subscribe!

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