Everton Luiz Earns Man Of The Match In Loss To LAFC
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake entered the weekend having gone unbeaten over the last six Major league Soccer games.
That streak came to an end at the hands of the best team in the land, LAFC who ended up beating the hosts 2-0.
RSL found themselves up a man early in the second half, after Walker Zimmerman received a second yellow card and was sent to the showers early. It seemed like RSL was going to pick up points against a team that very few teams have been able to beat.
Although that quickly changed when Carlos Vela was taken down in the box in the 62nd minute. Aaron Herrera was shown a red card, which leveled the playing field, and Vela slotted the ball into the top right hand corner to put the visitors up 1-0.
The visitors found the back of the net for a second time in the 82nd minute when Adama Diamande found the back of the net after using the inside of his right boot to squeeze the ball around Nick Rimando.
It was certainly an eye opening game for RSL, as they determined exactly just how far back they are from the best team in MLS.
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.
Freddie Juarez, 7
Juarez was the first to admit that he was not at his best. During his press conference he stated that “the team got too excited when we went a man up. We started to press higher, and that led to a quick counter attack that LAFC capitalized on.”
Juarez was very aggressive with his substitution pattern, bringing on three attacking players. Unfortunately, it did not help the outcome of the game. It was certainly a learning curve for the young interim manager, one that he can hopefully learn from.
Nick Rimando, 8
Rimando was the man of the match at half time. He had made a number of brilliant saves in the first 45 minutes. Unfortunately he conceded two second half goals. He ended the evening with four saves.
Right Back: Brooks Lennon, 7
Lennon returned to the starting XI after spending a number of weeks on the bench. His impact was limited as his main focus was on stopping LAFC’s very talented winger, Diego Rossi. Lennon was later subbed for Bofo Saucedo in the 79th minute.
Center Back: Marcelo Silva, 8
Silva came back to the starting XI after spending a week on the bench, who has been in good form as of late, unfortunately the partnership between Silva and Onuoha was not strong enough to get the job done. They were constantly caught on their heels defending the speed and skill of LAFC’s attacking players.
Center Back: Nedum Onuoha, 8
Onuoha was solid. His teammates did not help him out. LAFC was very good on the counter attack and he had a hard time slowing down the speed and skill of their formidable attacking players. Onuoha had one clearance and a hand full of successful passes but was unable to impact the game in any meaningful way.
Left Back: Aaron Herrera, 8
Herrera was solid playing out of position. His speed often causes problems for opposing teams. He is also very dominant when he pushes forward, although his priorities were set trying to limit Carlos Vela. Unfortunately, a challenge in the box led to the dismissal of Herrera in the 62nd minute.
Center Midfield: Kyle Beckerman, 7
Beckerman played his role. Before being subbed off in the 69th minute for Sam Johnson. Beckerman did not do anything to impress, but was not horrific at the same time. The Captain is certainly not the player he once was, but can still offer a role.
Center Midfield: Everton Luiz, 9
Everton Luiz was the best player for Real Salt Lake against LAFC. Luiz is sensational with the ball at his feet, but can also defend fearlessly as well. His run up the middle of the park on a counter attack resulted in a foul and consequently a second yellow card to Walker Zimmerman. Luiz is worth the price of admission, if you are a RSL fan. Splendid performance from the Brazilian native.
Right Wing: Corey Baird, 8
Baird has been in form as of late. The young American was good, yet again against LAFC. His work rate was sensational, and was unfortunate not to score. His heavy touch let him down in the second half. It is great to see Baird back in form as he was struggling for the majority of the season.
Center Attacking Midfield: Albert Rusnak, 8
Rusnak had a quieter evening than what we are used to seeing. The Slovakian international was still effective when he found the ball. The attacking players had a hard time generating space against the LAFC press.
Left Wing: Jefferson Savarino, 8
Savarino also had a quieter game than what we are used to seeing. The young Venezuelan was getting double teamed every time he touched the ball and had a difficult time getting himself into the match.
Striker: Damir Kreilach, 7
Kreilach did not impact the game like we are used to seeing him do. The big Croatian, who has a history scoring goals against LAFC, did not find space and was not able to generate any creativity to the team. He was subbed off in the 76th minute for Joao Plata.
Sam Johnson, 5
“Sammy J” came on and had 21 minutes of playing time. Although, the goal scorer never had an opportunity to impact the game. When he came on, RSL was chasing the game and LAFC was happy to sit back and slow the game down.
Joao Plata, 3
Plata had 14 minutes of playing time. He had a great opportunity to create something late in the game but kept the ball to himself and had a shot deflected. Plata can be a selfish player occasionally, against LAFC he made poor decisions.
Sebastian Saucedo, 2
In a surprising move by Juarez, Bofo came on for Brooks Lennon and played at right back. He had no impact.
Real Salt Lake will take on the Colorado Rapids this Saturday at 8 p.m. The match can be streamed live on KSLSports.com or the KSL TV app.
Colorado are coming off a 2-2 draw away from home against the Houston Dynamo.
They currently sit in 11th place in the Western Conference.
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!
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