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Everton Luiz’s Midfield Masterpiece Keeps RSL Clean In Win Over Crew

Columbus Crew midfielder Ricardo Clark (13) tries to kick the ball away from Real Salt Lake midfielder Everton Luiz (25) as Real Salt Lake and Columbus Crew play a Major League Soccer game at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. RSL won 1-0. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – After a short four day turnaround from the 2-0 victory against Sporting Kansas City, Real Salt Lake returned home to take on the struggling Columbus Crew.

Head coach Mike Petke altered his starting XI given the short week and brought in Brooks Lennon at right back, which pushed Aaron Herrera to left back. Damir Kreilach dropped into the middle and played alongside Everton Luiz. Albert Rusnak returned to his center attacking midfield position, while Corey Baird came on at right wing.

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.

Head Coach

Mike Petke, 8
Petke was forced to bring in midfielder Nick Besler at half time after Sam Johnson hurt his right quadricep late in the first half. In the 73rd minute Nedum Onuoha came off for Marcelo Silva. Petke’s final substitution came in the 90th minute as he brought Tate Schmitt into the game and gave Sebastian Saucedo a rest for the final four minutes of stoppage time. Overall, Petke’s game plan entering the night worked and he was able to generate more attacking opportunites for RSL while keeping a clean sheet. Put three more points in the bag for Real Salt Lake.

Goalkeeper

Nick Rimando, 8
Rimando came up with a monster one on one save in the 16th minute that prevented J.J. Williams from scoring, the play was later reviewed by VAR but referee Victor Rivas deemed the save stood. Rimando also used his brilliant footwork to embarrass opposing players.

Defenders

Right Back: Brooks Lennon, 7
Lennon’s effort was superb, his hustle running back defensively after getting involved in the attack was something Mike Petke would have loved to see.

Center Back: Justen Glad, 8
Fresh after coming off a MLS Team of the Week, Glad was again superb. Utilizing his speed and touch and shutting down most attacking opportunities from Columbus Crew.

Center Back: Nedum Onuoha, 7
The big Englishmen helped organize the back four all night long. As he has done on many other occasions this year. Onuoha makes life very difficult for opposing attacking players as he reads the game better than any other player on the pitch.

Left Back: Aaron Herrera, 7
Herrera played left back, due to Brooks Lennon joining the back four. Herrera played one of his better games of the season, despite playing out of position. His long ball in the 37th minute helped set up

Center Midfield: Everton Luiz, 9
Luiz was at his fearless best tackling midfielders and attackers from the Crew all night long. At one point, Luiz made a tackle right by the Columbus Bench in which head coach Caleb Porter was a foul, only for Luiz to stand up and start mouthing off at the Columbus head coach.

Center Midfield: Damir Kreilach, 7
Despite pushing back into the center of the park, Kreilach was superb at getting involved in the attack. In the 30th minute, Kreilach found himself with the ball at his feet 10 yards from goal. Only for a Columbus Crew center back to stop it with his chest on the goal line.

Right Wing: Corey Baird, 7
Baird was good, without being great. Much like this season, his final touch has let him down. Although it was good to see Baird get the full 90 minutes. Have no doubt that the young American will play himself into form, if Petke gives him the minutes. Based on last season, we know what he is capable of.
Center Attacking Midfield: Albert Rusnak, 8
Rusnak was again very creative donning the same black boots he wore against Sporting Kansas City. Rusnak was everywhere, shooting at will and helping play his teammates into the clear. Rusnak ran until the whistle blow and was a very big reason for RSL winning the match.
Left Wing: Sebastian Saucedo, 7
Saucedo was very impressive bouncing from the left and right wings. When Saucedo is attacking and playing with confidence, you could argue he is the most dangerous man on the pitch. Saucedo came off for Tate Schmitt in the 90th minute.

Striker

Striker: Sam Johnson, 8
Speed kills. Sam Johnson flew past both Columbus center backs after a long ball was played from Aaron Herrera, Johnson calmly punched the ball into the bottom right hand corner with the outside of his right foot. Unfortunately it looked like Johnson hurt his right quad after a shot late in the first half, he reached for it directly after.

The Bench

Nick Besler, 6
Besler joined the game at half time, replacing the injured Sam Johnson. Besler added a defensive presence to the midfield and was solid in the 45 minutes he played.

Marcelo Silva, 5
Silva joined the defense after replacing Nedum Onuoha in the 73rd minute. Marcelo worked well alongside Justen Glad and helped secure the three points.

Tate Schmitt, 2
Schmitt came on in the 90th minute for Bofo Saucedo and helped RSL pick up three points. Schmitt’s entrance into the game was more of a time killer than everything. His impact was small.

Next Up

Real Salt Lake will travel to San Jose this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. The match 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.

RSL Schedule
09/25/2019
Los Angeles
2
Real Salt Lake
1
09/29/2019
Houston
1
Real Salt Lake
2
10/06/2019
Real Salt Lake
1
Vancouver
0
10/19/2019
Portland
Real Salt Lake
Western Conf. Standings
W-L-T Pts.
Los Angeles FC
21-4-9 72
Seattle
16-10-8 56
Real Salt Lake
16-13-5 53
Minnesota
15-11-8 53
Los Angeles
16-15-3 51
Portland
14-13-7 49
FC Dallas
13-12-9 48
San Jose
13-16-5 44
Colorado
12-16-6 42
Houston
12-18-4 40
Sporting Kansas City
10-16-8 38
Vancouver
8-16-10 34