Real Salt Lake report card: Rimando saves RSL for win against Chivas
Yordany Alvarez (MID) - Yordany Alvarez struggled early in the game to get on the same page as his strikers as far as where they wanted his distribution. He settled down by the 12th minute and had a handful of very good sequences with Javier Morales, one in the 15th that went from Morales to a streaking Luis Gil who one touched it into the waiting hands of Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy. His positioning, however, lacked a lot to be desired on both the offensive and defensive side of things. Two times in the first 20 minutes he was out of position to receive a breakaway pass by Javier Morales and he was too high to effectively handle Chivas penchant to push up themselves. Grade: B-
Ned Grabavoy (MID) - Ned was called for the handball in the box in the 36th minute that put Chivas' Edgar Mejia at the spot for his failed PK. Grabavoy, along with the rest of the boys in Claret and Cobalt was energized by Rimando's save, and the final ten minutes of play during the first half saw Ned slashing and burning along the Chivas final third to will a Real goal before the first half. It was not to be. His efforts were rewarded early in the second half when he played into the fast break that gave RSL the go-ahead goal. Ned's efforts were especially strong Grade: A-
Javier Morales (MID) - Morales is showing terrific improvement to his fitness since coming back from his injury three weeks ago. He clearly wanted to take advantage of Chivas' odd three man defensive line, connecting quickly and often with his strikers. Morales started the break near the midfield line in the 53rd minute, that he scored on off a terrific streak into the box where Alvaro Saborio was able to find him with a chip into the six-yard box, which Morales redirected perfectly into the lower left of the net, out of reach for Dan Kennedy. Javi continued to lead the charge all night, completing his second full game of the season. Grade: A
Alvaro Saborio (FWD) - Sabo and Garcia made a very good pairing on the forward line. Garcia's speed and foot skills allowed Saborio numerous opportunities to post up in front of the box. His fading volley in the 29th minute off a Garcia cross reminded RSL fans how good he can be when given the opportunity to use his strength and skill to create scoring chances. It appeared it was only a matter of time before the combo's scoring chances might start falling. The first half ended without Real striking pay dirt. But he didn't waste much time in the second half, beating Chivas into the box on a breakaway where he posted up right of the box to feed Javier Morales with a perfectly weighted chip that gave RSL the go-ahead goal. Grade: A
Olmes Garcia (FWD) - Garcia came out swinging, pinging the crossbar in the sixth minute. He showed why Jason Kreis is so high on the kid again in the seventh minute when he chased a ball all the way to the end line with terrific speed, crossed it while sliding to save it from going out and almost perfectly found Ned Grabavoy's head right in front of the box - just a hair high, Grabavoy sent the cross over the crossbar. Garcia went down hard in the 17th minute when Chivas defender Mario de Luna clocked him in the head with a flying elbow and spent the next few minutes shaking it off. His second half wasn't much different, within the first five minutes he'd pinged another off the crossbar and his untiring runs, and brutal closing speed kept Chivas' defenders extremely busy backpedaling. He was subbed out in the 63rd minute for Robbie Findley.Grade: A
Robbie Findley (FWD, SUB 63') - Robbie Findley subbed on in place of a winded Olmes Garcia who had just left everything on the field. Findley seemed inspired, using his speed and skill to match Olmes efforts for the final 27 seven minutes. He wasn't able to get a shot on goal, but his efforts chasing down balls, tracking back on defense and just pestering Chivas' defense meant a lot to keeping the game to 1-0. Grade: B+
Sebastian Velasquez (MID, SUB 74') - Tian joined the fray in the 74th minute when he was subbed on in place of Luis Gil. He brought some additional spark that Luis couldn't quite ignite most of the night. Chivas was clearly tired by the 80th minute and while Velasquez was more energetic than his predecessor his fresh legs could have meant another goal had he and the fresh Robbie Findley found the energy and field sight to make it happen. Grade: B+
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