Bofo Saucedo Stepped Up In RSL’s Win Over Toronto FC
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake dominated Toronto F.C. to the tune of 3-0 on Saturday afternoon. RSL has now won back-to-back games and sit in the 7th spot in the Western Conference with 16 points.
The first five minutes of the contest was dominated by Toronto. However, in the 14th minute, after Albert Rusnak floated a ball into the back post, Damir Kreilach controlled the ball with his chest, split two defenders in half and poked the ball with his right foot into the bottom right hand corner. Real Salt Lake had life.
From the time RSL scored their first goal, it was all one way traffic from that point on wards.
Bofo Saucedo scored one of the best goals of the season in the 28th minute when he cut in from the left hand flank, dribbled around 2 defenders and hit a curling ball that drifted into the right hand side of the net from 30 yards. An absolute screamer, and a reward for the young local player who has been in and out of the lineup during his time at RSL.
The final goal was scored in the 60th minute when Jefferson Savarino made a pretty run in and behind the back four, once the defender fell over, Savarino found himself one-on-one with Toronto goal keeper Quintin Westberg. He calmly placed the ball around him and capped off a very impressive afternoon for the Claret and Cobalt.
A minute after the final RSL goal, in the 61st minute, marquee Toronto midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo, who leads the team in assists and goals was sent off after receiving his second yellow card for unsporting behavior.
Mike Petke, Nedum Onuoha and Bofo Saucedo all made the MLS Team of the Week after their stand out performances against Toronto F.C.
Real Salt Lake will stay home this week as they host the reigning MLS Cup champion Atlanta United FC on Friday evening at 7 p.m.
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.
Nick Rimando, 7
The return of Rimando came at a good time. The greatest goalkeeper in MLS history returned from a knee injury and did not have to do much throughout the 90 minutes against Toronto. He only ended up with 3 saves and was still able to keep a clean sheet, that goes to show how little work Rimando had against Toronto.
Right Back: Aaron Herrera, 7
Herrera was good without being great against Toronto. Keeping a clean sheet was a nice reward for the entire back four including Herrera. However, the young fullback still has moments where he makes poor decisions. Those decisions will be fixed with more minutes under his belt. Regardless, the work rate and ability to get up and down the right hand side is impressive, I have no doubt that Herrera will turn out to be one of the better full backs in MLS.
Center Back: Justen Glad, 7
Glad was again good, without being great against Toronto. During the second half, after Jozy Altidore came off the bench, Glad found himself playing against Altidore and was able to hold his own. Another good test in which Glad has passed and he continues to grow into a sensational center back and yet such a young age.
Center Back: Nedum Onuoha, 8
Onuoha has been the best defensive player for RSL this year and it is not even close. Again, over the weekend, Onuoha used his strength and speed to make countless defensive stops. The team now relies heavily on the experience and positioning of Onuoha. He was rewarded for his efforts as he was selected to this weeks MLS Team of the Week.
Left Back: Donny Toia, 6
Toia has played well over the last few weeks. Having a left footer at left back brings a sense of calm to the back four that we have not seen in some time. However, Toia is still gathering his feet when it comes to positioning and deciding when to push into the attack.
Center Midfield: Nick Besler, 5
After a man of the match performance against the Colorado Rapids last week, Besler struggled against Toronto this week. Often trying to play long balls into the attack but doing a poor job at doing so. Besler is good for his defensive effort and ability to stop counter attacks, he struggles when it comes to his distribution of the football. With Everton Luiz coming off the bench and Kyle Beckerman not far away, Besler will be under pressure to keep his job in the starting XI.
Center Midfield: Damir Kreilach, 8
Kreilach was phenomenal over the weekend, as he scored the first goal of the game and contributed on a number of different fronts. Kreilach’s big body gives headaches to opponents as they have a hard time competing with him in the air. Kreilach has been dropping back to the defensive midfield position the past few weeks as he is filling the void of the injured Luiz and Beckerman.
Right Wing: Sebastian Saucedo, 9
This weeks Man of the Match is the young Bofo Saucedo. He scored arguably the best goal of the week in all of soccer as he struck and connected on a ball from 30 yards out. He was rewarded with his good play and he was selected to this weeks MLS Team of the Week. Bofo also got the assist on the third RSL goal as he found Savarino making a nice run into the box.
Center Attacking Midfield: Albert Rusnak, 8
Rusnak assisted the first goal and came awfully close scoring himself throughout the match but was unfortunately unable to find the back of the net. However, wins and losses are often a reflection on how well Rusnak plays. When the young Slovakian finds space, RSL generally plays well. When he has a hard time finding the ball, RSL often crumbles. A 3-0 win is also reflective of the performance from Rusnak, who, despite not scoring, still had a very big impact on the outcome.
Left Wing: Jefferson Savarino, 8
Savarino scored the final goal of the match which was a reward for the young Venezualian. Sava was fearless in the way he attacked defenders and again, against Toronto he was at his best. He ended the match receiving 5 fouls and was able to generate two shots. On paper, he was the second best RSL player on the pitch Saturday afternoon.
Striker: Corey Baird, 7
Sam Johnson arrived to a team meeting 20 minutes late and was consequently dropped to the bench. Which allowed Baird to start at striker, the position he played for the majority of last year. Baird was good, making dangerous runs in and behind the back four all afternoon long. He had a few chances that could have gone in but unfortunately did not. Regardless, RSL did not rely on Baird’s ability to score like they did on many occasions last year.
Joao Plata, 4
Plata came on in the 71st minute for Bofo Saucedo and did not offer much. He was unable to generate any chances up the left flank and looked somewhat uninterested to be out there. He did score in the last minute of the game only for it to be called off side.
Everton Luiz, 6
It was good to see the veteran Brazilian back out on the pitch for RSL after suffering a MCL sprain in the first half of the home encounter with Orlando City some 6 weeks ago. Luiz brings a ton of spark to the midfield as he is good on both sides of the pitch.
Brooks Lennon, 3
Lennon came on in the 85th minute for Corey Baird and despite only getting a handful of minutes, Lennon made himself known. His work rate and speed is impressive. Regardless, still only 5 minutes of playing time which is not long enough to play yourself into a game.
Real Salt Lake return home to face Toronto F.C. this Saturday at 1 p.m.
Toronto has lost their last two MLS games and currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
The match on Saturday can be streamed on KSLSports.com, as well as on the KSL TV app.
KSLSports.com 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!
Head coach Mike Petke and TV analyst Brian Dunseth have launched a new podcast titled “Off The Chest”. The duo discuss all matters of the world game in a entertaining and informative podcast that will be sure to make you laugh.