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Savarino’s Finishing, Work Rate Earns High Marks After Win Over NYCFC

Real Salt Lake forward Jefferson Savarino (7) celebrates after scoring a goal as Real Salt Lake and New York City FC play at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake beat the very talented New York City FC 3-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium over the weekend.

After an impressive outing at Toyota Stadium a week prior in which RSL managed to pinch a point from FC Dallas, the team returned with similar form against NYCFC.

The victory gave RSL a jump in the Western Conference standings, catapulting them from just outside the playoff line in 8th to 6th, surpassing FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers.

RSL assistant coach, Freddy Juarez, took command of the managerial duties after head coach Mike Petke barraged officials with homophobic slurs and was received with a three match suspension because of his actions. This was the second of three matches in which Petke must watch from the comfort of his couch. Juarez, who was also in charge of the FC Dallas game, has stringed together two very promising games, picking up four points in the process.

NYCFC came into the contest without their star play maker Maximiliano Moralez, who leads the team with thirteen assists. The next best is Alexander Ring who finds himself with six assists on the season thus far. Consequently, the Pigeons had a difficult time generating space in their attacking third and did not look like half the team they normally do with Moralez in the starting XI.

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

Freddie Juarez, 9
Juarez has been superb since taking over the interim head coach role. Over the weekend against NYCFC was another great example of that. His game plan worked tremendously as RSL were clearly the more dominant team on the ball. Refusing to let NYCFC take over the possession battle, something they like to do often. His substitutions worked a treat as well as Sebastian Saucedo, Nick Besler and Joao Plata all had an impact on the outcome of the game. Besler scored the teams final goal after a crafty finish at the back post with his right heel.

Goalkeeper

Nick Rimando, 8
Rimando started, despite appearing in the MLS All Star Game in Orlando midweek. The MLS veteran ended his evening with 6 saves in a strong ninety minutes of play. Rimando was beaten by Alexander Ring in the opening five minutes of the game from 18 yards out. Besides the mishap early, Rimando responded with a very good game.

Defenders

Right Back: Aaron Herrera, 7
Herrera was fine. He was not good, but he was not bad either. Herrera attempted a number of long passes to help spring the attack to no avail. He did play a role in keeping NYCFC to only one goal, however.

Center Back: Justen Glad, 8
Glad has been spectacular for a number of months now. The fastest RSL home grown player to 100 games celebrated his 101st game in style. Glad ended the evening with a number of clearances, specifically with his head, and was a constant in utilizing his speed to chase down defenders and slow counter attacks down.

Center Back: Marcelo Silva, 8
Since Nedum Onuoha went down with an injury and had visa troubles in which he had to return to England to sort out, Marcelo Silva has taken over the role of playing alongside Justen Glad at CB seamlessly. Silva finished the evening with 4 clearances and a number of challenges. The big Uruguayan was influential in stopping Heber’s five game goal scoring streak.

Left Back: Donny Toia, 6
Toia had a game he would like to forget. Much like this season, Toia has had a hard time disposing of the football and linking with his fellow teammates. Against NYCFC he turned the ball over 12 times. Onwards and upwards for Toia.

Midfielders

Center Midfield: Kyle Beckerman, 8
Beckerman was sensational. The captain gave everything he had, as he does every game. Beckerman, alongside Luiz, controlled the midfield battle by holding onto the football and keeping NYCFC from dominating possession. Beckerman is proving to be a valuable member of RSL’s success, maybe he is hoping to continue to play once this season has concluded?

Center Midfield: Everton Luiz, 8
Arguably the best transfer from the pre season is Everton Luiz. The Brazilian native is a menace in between the white lines and is fearless with his attack on the football. Luiz has all the tools, he tackles well and can run with the ball at his feet comfortably. Luiz is a very aggressive, yet controlled player who is worth the price of admission.

Right Wing: Corey Baird, 5
Baird has been out of form all season long. Against NYCFC he did not do anything to suggest that his form was starting to change. Baird committed three fouls, lost a handful of challenges and turned the ball over frequently. Maybe some time in the Monarchs will help rejuvenate the very talented young American?

Center Attacking Midfield: Albert Rusnak, 8
Rusnak returned to the starting XI after a few weeks out with a knee strain. The Slovakian International scored in the 75th minute with a goal that will go down as one of the best in RSL history. Rusnak struck the ball from 25 yards after cutting onto his right foot, he hit a knuckle ball and beat Sean Johnson, who stands at 6’3, at his near post. Remarkable.

Left Wing: Jefferson Savarino, 9
Since returning from the Venezuelan national team after their Copa America run, Jefferson Savarino has been in the best form of his RSL career. Savarino ended the match against NYCFC with one goal and one assist. He also had a number of other opportunities in which he could have scored. He made the MLS Team Of The Week.  There is good reason for English Premier League clubs showing interest in Sava.

Striker

Striker: Damir Kreilach, 8
Kreilach was impact full againt NYCFC without being noticed. The big Croatian was often in dangerous positions, although the ball never found its way over to him. Kreilach was still influential with his composed style of play. He and Rusnak are hard to stop when the two of them play.

The Bench

Sebastian Saucedo, 6
Bofo came on for Corey Baird in the 76th minute and utilized his fresh legs to put his mark on the game. Despite the lack of minutes, Saucedo found himself with the football on a number of occasions.

Nick Besler, 7
Besler came on in the 80th minute for Kyle Beckerman. Remarkably, Besler made the MLS Team Of The Week bench after scoring a skillful heel kick in the dying minutes to put the final nail in NYCFC’s coffin.

Joao Plata, 6
Plata joined the game in the 83rd minute for Albert Rusnak. Plata impressed and was able to generate a couple of scoring opportunities in the handful of minutes that he got.

Next Up

Real Salt Lake take on Sporting Kansas City this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The match can be streamed live on KSLSports.com or the KSL TV app.

Sporting Kansas City are coming off a 3-2 win over the Seattle Sounders at Century Link Field.

They currently sit in 10th place in the Western Conference.

Reminder

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
08/03/2019
New York City FC
1
Real Salt Lake
3
08/10/2019
Real Salt Lake
2
Sporting Kansas City
1
08/14/2019
Seattle
0
Real Salt Lake
3
08/17/2019
Los Angeles FC
2
Real Salt Lake
0
08/24/2019 @ 8:00 pm
Colorado
Real Salt Lake
08/31/2019 @ 8:30 pm
Real Salt Lake
Portland
09/11/2019 @ 7:30 pm
San Jose
Real Salt Lake
09/15/2019 @ 3:30 pm
Real Salt Lake
Minnesota
09/21/2019 @ 5:30 pm
Real Salt Lake
New England
09/25/2019 @ 7:30 pm
Los Angeles
Real Salt Lake
Western Conf. Standings
W-L-T Pts.
Los Angeles FC
18-3-4 58
Minnesota
12-8-6 42
Los Angeles
13-11-2 41
Real Salt Lake
12-10-4 40
Seattle
11-8-7 40
San Jose
11-9-5 38
Portland
11-10-4 37
FC Dallas
10-10-7 37
Houston
9-13-4 31
Sporting Kansas City
8-11-7 31
Colorado
7-13-6 27
Vancouver
6-12-9 27