Jefferson Savarino Claims Man Of The Match After RSL’s Win Over Philadelphia
SANDY, Utah – Jefferson Savarino was the Man of the Match as Real Salt Lake demolished the Philadelphia Union 4-0.
Savarino scored the opening two goals of the game giving the hosts a comfortable lead. Albert Rusnak and Damir Kreilach put the finishing touches on what was a superb team performance from RSL.
The Union still sit on top of the Eastern Conference, although they did not look like the best team in the east on Saturday night, while RSL jump up above the playoff line in the 6th spot.
Nick Rimando celebrated his 500th MLS game and was recognized prior to kickoff. Rimando celebrated his milestone with a clean sheet and yet another spectacular performance.
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.
Mike Petke, 9
Petke’s game plan worked to perfection. He was able to create far more attacking chances while keeping a clean sheet in what was the most “complete” performance of the season, according to Petke. His substitution’s were aggressive, bringing on two attacking players despite holding a comfortable lead deep into the second half. His mentality is clear, RSL is making a big push to climb the Western Conference standings in the hopes of cementing a playoff spot.
Nick Rimando, 8
Rimando celebrated his 500th MLS game with a clean sheet. The veteran goalkeeper ended his evening with zero saves as the Union had five shots, but none on target. Credit the back four for keeping the Union intact and not generating any real scoring opportunities.
Right Back: Brooks Lennon, 8
Lennon responded from his man of the match performance against the Earthquakes a week ago with another very impressive game. This time playing right back. Lennon got involved in the attack at the correct times and was sensational getting back and helping out defensively. His work rate was second to none and is causing headaches for head coach Mike Petke when it comes to selection.
Center Back: Justen Glad, 8
Glad slotted back into the starting XI alongside Marcelo Silva and played very well. Glad should have had two goals next to his name as he had two headers from corners that came oh so close to finding the back of the net. The first chance came in the 54th minute after Sebastian Saucedo found the head of Glad who shot from six yards out and was saved by the knee of Andre Blake. The second chance rattled off the crossbar from another corner kick in the 58th minute.
Center Back: Marcelo Silva, 8
Silva got his second start in consecutive matches and was a big reason why RSL were able to keep a clean sheet. He was the big bodied center back who stepped up and limited Philadelphia’s leading goalscorer Kacper Przybylko. Silva had three interceptions and three clearances in the dominant win.
Left Back: Aaron Herrera, 8
Herrera was, yet again very solid playing out of position at left back. Herrera has cemented his spot in Mike Petke’s team this season playing fullback and honoring the head coach’s selection. Herrera assisted the opening goal of the game by playing a spectacular long ball onto the foot of Jefferson Savarino who finished one-on-one with Andre Blake.
Center Midfield: Kyle Beckerman, 8
Beckerman has shut up his doubters this season by playing his role to perfection. Unlike previous seasons, Beckerman has been the defensive anchor in the midfield for RSL this season. He controls the midfield and assists RSL by controlling the tempo and flow of the game. Against the Union, Beckerman was tireless closing down passes and intercepting balls from the Union.
Center Midfield: Everton Luiz, 9
Luiz has added so much to the midfield for RSL this season. He assisted Damir Kreilach for the final goal of the game while also adding 41 successful passes. Luiz is the complete package, he has the ability to defend as well as attack and beat defenders. His attack on the ball is similar to center backs and he plays with a fearless mentality.
Right Wing: Jefferson Savarino, 10
Since returning from the Venezuelan national team, Savarino has been in spectacular form. Scoring two goals in the 4-0 win and was involved in many other attacks. His attacking play was what was expected from Sava, but his defensive work rate and ability to get back and help in defense was what gave him the man of the match honors. He also assisted Albert Rusnak who scored the third goal of the game. Savarino was also named to the MLS Team of the Week and Player of the Week for his performance against the Union.
Center Attacking Midfield: Albert Rusnak, 8
Rusnak’s ability to find space and create attacking opportunites for RSL was very impressive against the Union. Donning his new bleached blonde hair, and wearing his all black Adidas boots, Rusnak was involved in many attacking chances for RSL. He was also able to get on the scorers list, slotting the ball past Andre Blake for the third goal of the game in the 81st minute.
Striker: Damir Kreilach, 9
RSL fans have become customed to Kreilach putting in impressive performances no matter the position he plays. Against the Union, he was tasked with playing the number nine position and was able to offer a different perspective up front for RSL. Kreilach was dangerous all night, and was finally rewarded with a goal at the death in the 91st minute after Everton Luiz made a spectacular 60 meter run to play Kreilach into a one-on-one chance with Andre Blake in which he found the bottom left hand corner to give the hosts a 4-0 lead.
Corey Baird, 5
Baird came on for Sebastian Saucedo in the 71st minute and provided a spark on the wing. Baird has not been in form this season, but Mike Petke continues to show confidence in the young American. Over time, Baird will play himself back into the same form we saw from him last season that eventuated in winning MLS Rookie of the Year.
Nick Besler, 4
Besler joined the match in the 83rd minute for captain Kyle Beckerman and offered fresh legs in the heart of the midfield. Besler’s defensive presence assisted RSL in limiting the midfield of the Union and keeping the clean sheet.
Joao Plata, 3
Plata came on in the 85th minute for Jefferson Savarino. After staying at RSL, despite being linked to a move to Liga MX, Plata has had a hard time finding minutes under Mike Petke this season. However, clearly Plata is showing signs of form in training as Petke gave Plata ten minutes of action against the Union over the weekend.
Real Salt Lake take on Minnesota United this Saturday at 8 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.
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