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Interim Head Coach Freddy Jaurez Brings Breath Of Fresh Air For Dominant RSL

Real Salt Lake midfielder Damir Kreilach (8) works to gain control of the ball as RSL and Seattle Sounders play at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy Utah on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. RSL won 3-0. Scott G Winterton/Deseret News

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake are on fire. On Wednesday evening, RSL beat one of the best teams in the Western Conference, the Seattle Sounders, 3-0 in what was the most convincing performance and win of the season.

Interim manager Freddy Juarez, has implemented an identity. RSL controlled the game from the get-go as they dominated time on the ball. They ended the first half having 60 percent possession and ended the game with 53 percent. It was the most dominant game the team has played this season.

Damir Kreilach ended his evening with two assists while the goal-scoring was shared amongst Sam Johnson, Albert Rusnak and Corey Baird.

The performance was so dominant that Seattle ended the evening with zero shots on goal. Considering they started the evening in sole second place in the West, the recent form from RSL certainly carried over to Wednesday evening.

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 brought a breath of fresh air to RSL. The interim head coach has implemented an identity to the team. They control the ball and conversely the possession.

The team looks comfortable and poised under the guidance of Juarez. Since he has taken over as interim manager, including the games when he took over during Petke’s suspension, he has tallied 10 points from a potential 12. The performance against Seattle was the best outing RSL has had this season. Very impressive!

Goalkeeper

Nick Rimando, 7
Rimando did not have much to do. The MLS veteran did not have a save because Seattle did not have a shot on goal. His ability to utilize his feet and play the ball out of the back was influential in sparking attack opportunities.

Defenders

Right Back: Aaron Herrera, 8
Herrera played more like a winger than he did a fullback. That was in part due to the fact that Seattle were not pressing RSL’s backline.

Herrera assisted the opening goal after he played a long ball to Sam Johnson who was able to run onto it and finish with his left foot. Herrera is a pivotal component to the back four, against Seattle he proved his worth yet again.

Center Back: Justen Glad, 8
What Glad is doing this year is phenomenal. The young, yet experienced center back has speed that could have him playing on the wing. His ability to chase down opposing forwards and make goal-saving challenges is worth the price of admission.

Glad has the ability to play a long, flat ball across the field to change the flow and tempo of the movement.

Center Back: Nedum Onuoha, 8
What a pleasure it was to see Onuoha back on the pitch in RSL colors. Onuoha is the rock across the back. His ability to block or deflect shots is superb. Onuoha brings a wealth of experience to the backline, something that complements the youth movement of Glad and Herrera very nicely.

Left Back: Donny Toia, 8
Toia was surprisingly impressive. I say that with all due respect, of course. Toia has not been playing well as of late, although against Seattle he seemed to settle himself. When Toia plays well and does not turn the ball over recklessly, he can be a very influential player for RSL and their movement going forward.

Midfielders

Center Midfield: Damir Kreilach, 10
Damir was the best player on the pitch against Seattle. The big Croatian held down the middle of the park with ease. His ability to find space and create attacking chances is so important to the success of RSL.

Kreilach ended the evening with two assists. The final goal scored by Corey Baird was made possible from a splendid ball played into space from Kreilach.

Center Midfield: Everton Luiz, 8
Luiz is so good. It is hard to put into words the importance of Luiz when it comes to this team’s success. Luiz is fearless with his attack on the ball and uses his aggression to petrify opposing players.

He received a yellow card (that could have been red) which should be no surprise for all you RSL fans.

Right Wing: Corey Baird, 9
Baird has found form over the past two games. He has scored three goals over the past two games and now has four goals on the season.

Baird is working hard up and down the right-wing offering his services defensively and pushing forward being utilized on the counter-attack. He scored the third and final goal of the game against Seattle to put the final nail in the coffin.

Center Attacking Midfield: Albert Rusnak, 8
Rusnak was seen wearing tape around his knee, suggesting that the knee strain he suffered a few weeks ago, and consequently missed a week, is still bothering him. However, the Slovakian International was able to find the back of the net in the 71st minute.

He was later subbed in the 76th minute for Joao Plata, suggesting that he will be available for the upcoming blockbuster against LAFC this Saturday.

Left Wing: Jefferson Savarino, 8
Savarino is the most exciting player for RSL when he plays well. He was been playing well for a month now.

Sava dances around opposing defenders and gets RSL out of trouble constantly. The young Venezuelan will eventually play in Europe, RSL fans need to appreciate Sava for what he does.

Striker

Striker: Sam Johnson, 8
Sammy J returned to the pitch for the first time in five weeks and it did not take long for him to assert his authority. The star striker for RSL scored the opening goal of the match in the 25th minute after Aaron Herrera played a devilish long ball to free up Johnson.

His minutes are still being calculated as he was eventually subbed for Justin Portillo in the 66th minute.

The Bench

Justin Portillo, 6
Portillo got 24 minutes of playing time as he came on in the 66th minute for Sam Johnson. He was very good in the midfield, helping RSL control the tempo of the game.

Joao Plata, 5
Plata joined the game in the 75th minute and offered a spark up the left-wing. His speed and skill are always concerning for opposing teams, although his impact was limited due to the lack of minutes he played.

Marcelo Silva, 3
Silva came on in the 85th minute for Justen Glad. The Uruguayan native has been in good form as of late, but was rested as Nedum Onuoha returned to the starting XI.

Next Up

Real Salt Lake takes on Los Angeles Football Club this Saturday at 8 p.m. The match can be streamed live on KSLSports.com or the KSL TV app.

LAFC are coming off a 4-2 win over the New York Red Bulls at Banc Of California Stadium.

They currently sit in 1st 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!

RSL Schedule
08/24/2019
Colorado
0
Real Salt Lake
2
08/31/2019
Real Salt Lake
0
Portland
1
09/11/2019
San Jose
0
Real Salt Lake
1
09/15/2019
Real Salt Lake
1
Minnesota
3
09/21/2019 @ 5:30 pm
Real Salt Lake
New England
09/25/2019 @ 7:30 pm
Los Angeles
Real Salt Lake
09/29/2019 @ 5:30 pm
Houston
Real Salt Lake
10/06/2019 @ 2:00 pm
Real Salt Lake
Vancouver
Western Conf. Standings
W-L-T Pts.
Los Angeles FC
19-4-7 64
Seattle
14-9-7 49
Minnesota
14-10-6 48
Real Salt Lake
14-12-4 46
Los Angeles
14-13-3 45
San Jose
13-12-5 44
Portland
13-12-4 43
FC Dallas
12-11-7 43
Sporting Kansas City
10-13-7 37
Colorado
10-15-6 36
Houston
10-16-4 34
Vancouver
7-15-9 30