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Johnson, Rusnak Put In Great Performances In RSL’s Loss

Real Salt Lake forward Sam Johnson (50) takes a shot on Portland Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark (12) in Sandy on Saturday, May 4, 2019. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake couldn’t complete the comeback at home as they lost to the Portland Timbers 2-1.

RSL had a chance to take the lead in the 26th minute when Albert Rusnak attempted a penalty kick but Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark saved it in the bottom corner.

Sebastian Blanco began the scoring in the 34th minute to give the Timbers a 1-0 advantage.

Sam Johnson leveled the match at one in the 62nd minute off of a great heel flick from Corey Baird, who received the ball from Nick Besler, giving Johnson an open shot on goal.

Timbers star Diego Valeri scored the game-winning goal in the 68th minute to give the defending Western Conference Champions a win on the road.

RSL was caught offside nine times in the match, with Portland never being called offside. With both teams committing 10 fouls, RSL had three yellow cards. Portland won the match despite Real getting seven shots on target compared to just three for the Timbers.

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, 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.


Andrew Putna, 5
Putna was not great. He allowed two goals by the Timbers on three shots and only had one save, on the first goal, he deflected the ball to give the Timbers the chance to rebound and score. He also had 10 unsuccessful long passes out of the box. Not one of the better performances for the backup goalkeeper.

Right Back: Aaron Herrera, 5
Herrera had some struggles throughout the match. He committed a foul, lost a challenge, picked up a yellow card and was a part of the two goals that RSL conceded. Positive notes included a shot, four successful long passes and 20 successful passes in RSL’s own half.

Center Back: Justen Glad, 6
Justen Glad seemed to have struggled against the Timbers. He was out of position on the first goal by the Timbers, but did deflect the first shot attempt before the second goal was scored. Glad had a hard time completing long passes out of the back, finishing with 21 unsuccessful passes.

Center Back: Nedum Onuoha, 8
Onuoha was one the best players on the pitch for RSL. Despite the backline conceding two goals, he was able to get a couple of clearances, interceptions and tackles to limit the chances for Portland. Another solid performance for Onuoha.

Left Back: Donny Toia, 5
Toia didn’t play his best game for RSL. He had 5 unsuccessful passes in RSL’s own half, as well as 9 unsuccessful passes in the opposition’s half. Toia picked up a foul, a yellow card and lost a challenge and was caught out of position multiple times.

Center Midfield: Nick Besler, 6
Besler started in place of the injured Kyle Beckerman and struggled at times. He committed four fouls with one of them including a yellow card. Besler picked up three interceptions on the ball and had some nice passes up the pitch, including the pass to Corey Baird to set up Sam Johnson for RSL’s only goal.

Center Midfield: Damir Kreilach, 7
Kreilach had a good game for the Claret and Cobalt. He had some crisp passes in the attack, especially in the final third. Kreilach continues to be an critical part of RSL’s attack.

Right Wing: Jefferson Savarino, 7
Savarino had some dangerous moments. He had a great shot on goal that would have been brilliant had it not been for a fantastic save by Steve Clark. He had great passes and was aggressive for most of the match.

Center Attacking Midfield: Albert Rusnak, 8
Rusnak had a chance to give RSL the lead early in the first half as they were awarded a penalty kick. Rusnak guessed the bottom left of the goal and Steve Clark guessed that and made a great save from the spot. He completed three crosses, while completing six key passes and had a shot on goal.

Left Wing: Corey Baird, 7
Baird assisted on Sam Johnson’s goal in the 62nd minute with a beautiful heel flick at the top of the box to give Johnson a wide open shot on goal. Baird had a shot on goal as well and made a key pass in the run of play.


Striker: Sam Johnson, 8
Johnson continues to work hard and tries to utilize his speed on diagonal runs, but was frustrated with the lack of chances he could’ve had if the ball would get to him on the quick runs. He scored his third goal of the season in the 62nd minute.

The Bench

Sebastian Saucedo, 6
Bofo came on for Corey Baird in the 69th minute. He was extremely aggressive in his time on the field, with 2 shots on goal, 1 shot that was blocked, won a corner kick and had many successful passes.

Brooks Lennon, 6
Lennon came on for Nick Besler in the 80th minute to help bolster the RSL attack along the flanks. He was aggressive with a successful cross, two key passes and an interception.

Joao Plata, 4
After back-to-back 90 minute substitutions, Plata entered the match for Donny Toia in the 86th minute to help RSL bring more attackers up the field, coming on for a defender. In his short time on the pitch, Plata was productive with some successful passes in the final third and a shot on goal.

Next Up

Real Salt Lake will travel to Colorado on Saturday at 7 p.m. to face the Rapids.

The Rapids fired their head coach Anthony Hudson last week after a poor start to the season. They lost 3-2 to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Friday at home. Colorado is still searching for their first win of the season.

The match on Saturday can be streamed on, as well as on the KSL TV app. in collaboration with Real Salt Lake has launched a new podcast, The RSL Lion’s Den. It is the official Real Salt Lake podcast for all your club news and updates. Tom Hackett, Spencer Warne and RSL’s Director of PR, 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 podcasts are found. Don’t forget to rate and subscribe!