Luis Gil was nothing less than a revelation Saturday night, earning his first-ever MLS goal only seconds before the first-half whistle. And it was a beauty, rocketing off his right foot from about 25 yards out into the right corner. His effort marshaling the front half of the midfield was equal to that of Beckerman in the back half and it had a massive impact. He led a handful of Morales-esque tight passing barrages in front of the goal but more than that, he took shots, an area where Grabavoy has been inconsistent in his time replacing Javier Morales. It's clear Gil is more comfortable as the Offensive Midfielder than at Forward where he's seen some playing time this year. Grade: A
Will Johnson definitely had his motor running at Rio Tinto Saturday night. Nice to see him back in form after an uncharacteristically lackluster game against Sporting KC last Wednesday. He was a defensive nightmare and seemed particularly potent on secondary defensive runs against the Red Bull forwards. His scrappy tackle on Henry earned him a yellow card in the 85th minute. Grade: A-
Alvaro Saborio might have had his best game Saturday night despite only one shot on goal. His play with his back to the goal was very strong and Jason Kreis' talk with Saborio a week ago must have done some good, because the big Costa Rican played uncommonly good defense, even chasing down some loose balls and charging hard on 50/50s. But it was his ice-in-the-blood PK goal in the 76th minute that personified Saborio's night. Cool. Grade: A
Fabian Espindola once again played with the poise and restraint he's discovered this season but had lost the last couple of games. And his footwork and pace were brilliant. One run midway through the second half was particularly entertaining to watch as he flicked the ball with his heel over his head on a dead run and nearly broke away for a solo shot on goal. Grade: A-
Collen Warner came on in the 67th minute to play mostly a defensive role in place of Gil. He didn't disappoint, clogging the midfield with effort runs and occasionally finding his forwards to keep the Red Bull defense on their heels. Grade: B+
Arturo Alvarez's only real opportunity to stand out in his brief appearance in substitution for Williams came in the 88th minute on a 2-on-1 breakaway where instead of passing it to a wide open Saborio he tried a tight left post shot that sailed over the goal. That's simply not good enough from a player Kreis is expecting to make a major contribution this season. Grade: B-
Jean Alexandre came on in the 86th minute basically to keep Johnson from earning a red card after having a sketchy yellow card pulled on him in the 85th minute for a tackle against Henry. He didn't play enough to earn a grade. Grade: Incomplete
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