Real vs. Seattle Sounders FC player grades

Seattle Sounders FC at Real Salt Lake Player Analysis

Each game this year Deseret News staff writers will grade individual performances from Real Salt Lake’s players using the following scale:

1 — Truly once-in-a-lifetime poor performance
2 — Horrifyingly bad
3 — Very poor
4 — Poor
5 — Below average
6 — Average
7 — Above average
8 — Outstanding
9 — Sensational
10 — Truly once-in-a-lifetime outstanding performance

Here are the grades for RSL’s starting 11 and substitutes:

Nick Rimando (8) – Posted his 56th career shutout on the night, and had the lone assist on the game on a very heads-up play. His quick restart on a goal kick caught Seattle off guard and sprung Robbie Findley .
Chris Wingert (6) – If the defense has a shutout, an at least average grade is deserved. He was active going forward and solid in the back.
Nat Borchers (7) – Was tough in the air on all the balls sent forward, and came across to the wings to shut down several of the Sounders attempts at crosses.
Tony Beltran (7) – Very nearly had his first assist on the season as his cross missed Findley’s feet by inches in front of the net, and the 2nd-year defender was involved in the offense on plenty. Plus there is still that shutout thing.
Jamison Olave (7) – His physical play against Freddie Ljungberg clearly frustrated the Swede on several occasions. He made a couple of saving stops on through balls as well putting himself in good positions.
Will Johnson (6) – Outstanding work rate once again. A couple of giveaways in bad spots, but would then cover the distance and make up for it.
Kyle Beckerman (6) – Played exactly the type of game the team needed from its captain. Was steady on defense, held the ball well and got forward on a few chances, narrowly missing a goal in the 22nd minute on a shot from distance.
Javier Morales (7) – There is rarely anything wrong with Javi’s game on-the-ball, but against Seattle he was singled out by coach Kreis as working extra hard on his defensive assignments. He covered a lot of ground and hustled hard.
Clint Mathis (5) – The elder statesman on the team would love to have his chance back at an open net from point-blank range in the 43rd minute. His effort was there, but the execution was not his best before being subbed off in the 67th minute
Robbie Findley (7) – Broke the career scoring mark for an RSL player at 20 goals with the lone tally of the game. Was active on other runs and especially challenging for head balls coming from the back. Was sneaky on his run off the goal kick for his goal.
Fabian Espindola (5) – Fabi has not been the same player he was last year when he was healthy. His touch is not 100 percent and like many players before him, he is not scoring goals from the forward position.

Substitute grades:

Rachid El Khalifi (6) – Made a positive impression in his first action as a member of RSL. He had one very nice ball from the right wing that Findley nearly finished on a header. According to Kreis, still has some tactical ideals to learn.
Pablo Campos (6) – One minute of playing time is not enough to truly judge, so just gets an average grade by default.

There you have it, our grades from the Seattle match, but what do you think?

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