Brooks Lennon Was Best On Ground After Heartbreak Loss To San Jose

Jul 9, 2019, 6:21 PM
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)...
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake was reminded just how hard it is to pick up road points this past weekend at San Jose.

After grueling out 93 minutes of soccer, Real Salt Lake fell asleep and gifted the Earthquakes the three points. It all started after Valeri Qazaishvili made a nice run, dancing around Bofo Saucedo and Kyle Beckerman, shooting the ball just outside the box and having a deflection go out for a corner.

San Jose players wanted a free kick however, and were complaining to referee Rubiel Vasquez, a number of RSL players were sucked into the complaint and were defending Vasquez’s call of a corner. While all of this was going on, Cristian Espinoza takes a short corner and passes the ball to right back Paul Marie, Marie strolls inside the eighteen yard box, plays a low ball into the area and substitute Danny Hoesen taps home the game winner.

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
The loss had nothing to do with Mike Petke. The lack of concentration was solely on the players. Petke had a good game plan entering the evening and it was all working to perfection until the 93rd minute. RSL was the better team on the night, having more scoring chances than San Jose. Petke’s substitution’s were aggressive, bringing on Albert Rusnak and Sebastian Saucedo clearly hoping the pair could help RSL put the ball into the back of the net.


Nick Rimando, 8
Rimando was sensational, despite conceding his first goal in two games. Rimando ended his evening with two saves and did a very nice job controlling the back four. His performance was good enough to warrant him a place on MLS Team of the Week on the bench.


Right Back: Aaron Herrera, 8
Herrera was very good, yet again. After a few quiet weeks, Herrera has bounced back into form over the last two games. He ended his night with four interceptions, two tackles and 16 successful passes. Herrera was also able to get involved in attacking opportunities, he provided the delivery for Damir Kreilach only to miss the header by two yards to the right in the 33rd minute. Herrera made the back line on this weeks MLS Team of the Week.

Center Back: Erik Holt, 7
Holt has done nothing but impress when Petke selects him. Against San Jose he was solid, he did not make any mistakes and was very impressive playing alongside Marcelo Silva. Holt’s future seems bright if he can continue his rise. It seems the more minutes he gets, the better and more confident he becomes.

Center Back: Marcelo Silva, 7
Despite not playing many minutes as of late due to the success both Justen Glad and Nedum Onuoha have had, Silva was very impressive against the Earthquakes. Silva made four clearances and got involved in attacking opportunities via corner kicks.

Left Back: Donny Toia, 7
Toia had an impressive game, much like the rest of the back line, despite having a rough opening ten minutes going against Cristian Espinoza. Once Toia settled himself, Espinoza did not have any impact on the game. Toia had three interceptions and two clearances to cap off a very good game.

Center Midfield: Kyle Beckerman, 6
Beckerman returned from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for one game and produced a valiant effort. His impact was minimal, but Beckerman’s experience and composure was valuable in helping keep the Earthquakes from generating much movement in the attacking half. Beckerman has played his defensive role nicely this season.

Center Midfield: Nick Besler, 6
Much like Beckerman, Besler did not have much of an impact on the game. However, his defensive work rate and ability was very influential in keeping San Jose quiet for most of the game. Besler had the best chance of the game, as he found himself one-on-one with Earthquakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega, only for him to push the ball wide with the outside of his right foot.

Right Wing: Brooks Lennon, 9
Lennon was the best player on the pitch against the Earthquakes. This season, Lennon has had a hard time getting back into a defensive position and helping out his teammates. However, against the Earthquakes Lennon was all over the park. Running tirelessly up and down the pitch, finding the ball and creating attacking opportunities for RSL. Lennon made a great turn on the ball, found Besler one-on-one with goalkeeper Daniel Vega, but was unable to capitalize. Lennon’s touch was at its best over the weekend.
Center Attacking Midfield: Damir Kreilach, 8
Kreilach went back to playing at center attacking midfield as Mike Petke opted to rest Albert Rusnak for the majority of the game. Kreilach was dangerous finding space in the attacking third and had an opportunity to capitalize on a great delivery from Aaron Herrera in the 33rd minute but was unable to finish with his head. Petke knows what he is going to get with Kreilach, who has turned into one of RSL’s most important players.
Left Wing: Jefferson Savarino, 8
How good was it to see Savarino back in an RSL uniform? After spending the past five weeks with the Venezuelan national team, competing in the Copa America tournament, Savarino did not skip a beat against San Jose. Sava was dancing around defenders and creating attacking opportunities up until he was eventually subbed off in the 68th minute. He ended with six successful runs, five interceptions and one shot on goal.


Striker: Corey Baird, 6
It has not been the year both Baird and the fans were hoping for. Unfortunately, Baird has had a hard time playing himself into games. His final touch has let him down on a number of occasions and yet again, against San Jose he was unable to have much of an impact on the game.

The Bench

Albert Rusnak, 7
Rusnak came off the bench in the 68th minute for Jefferson Savarino. Rusnak found the ball in space and was able to attack the San Jose defenders despite only getting 22 minutes of playing time. Rusnak ended his night with one shot and one successful run. Those black boots that Rusnak has worn now for three consecutive games seem to be adding to his extensive skill set.

Sebastian Saucedo, 4
Saucedo came on in the 81st minute for Damir Kreilach. He was able to generate chances cutting in from the right hand side. The last month for Saucedo has been very impressive as the young home-grown player is finally turning into a formidable winger for RSL.

Next Up

Real Salt Lake will return home and take on the Philadelphia Union this Saturday at 8 p.m. The match 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!

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.

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