RSL report card: Luke Mulholland's ejection sinks his grade, team
Chris Carlson, Associated Press
Real Salt Lake dropped a third match in four when a red card in the midfield stymied a potent attack in Saturday's 1-0 loss to Chivas USA.
Ratings are 1-10 and represent a general sense of each player's performance.
Jeff Attinella, 6.5, wasn't tasked with much. He couldn't stop a wonder-goal, but that should come as no surprise.
Chris Winfrey, 6, did acceptably on the right flank, and he had a few very bright attacking moments throughout that were encouraging.
Nat Borchers, 6, didn't stand out. He struggled once or twice on corner defense but generally defended the counter capably.
Chris Schuler, 6, was found wanting when defending the solitary goal of the evening but was one of the few players really pushing at the end of the match.
Abdoulie Mansally, 6, was a mixed bag. On one hand, he was excellent getting back when a counterattack started after an attacking corner for our side. His recoveries made a substantial difference. On the other hand, he went walkabout often and didn't create much in the attack, which is something you'd expect — or hope for — from Mansally.
Cole Grossman, 5.5, didn't have a memorable night. He struggled getting attacking plays moving, which is wholly half of his role. He was substituted in the second half for John Stertzer as Jeff Cassar tried to tip the balance.
Luke Mulholland, 2, picked up a red card 10 minutes in, going in high and dangerously on a player unnecessarily. His ejection swung the game out of RSL's grasp, and the team never regained it.
Luis Gil, 5.5, had some great attacking moments, but so often he wasn't involved. We needed a better midfield performance to make up for the red card, but instead we just got a middling one with just enough excitement to make us remember why Gil is so exciting.
Javier Morales, 6, tried to take the game by the metaphorical horns, but too often he hesitated on the final pass or the final shot. It is always a little surprising to see such hesitation from a player capable of such magic.
Robbie Findley, 7, wins plaudits for an adapted role that was unusual, to say the least. He consistently dropped into channels in defense while still getting forward and pushing the line. It is no wonder he only played 60 minutes: that sort of role is one of the most difficult in the game.
Joao Plata, 6, played off the left flank with great frequency, looking dangerous when he received the ball. But without a figure up front consistently after the red card, he was always going to struggle.
Sebastian Velasquez, 5.5, was at times bright, but those times were too few and far between. He's played very few minutes this season, which acts as a genuine explanation, but it did show against Chivas.
John Stertzer, 6.5, was a solid option in the midfield, and by replacing Cole Grossman, he gave a more attacking outlet.
Olmes Garcia, 5.5, can be such a marvelous player on his day, but his runs were simply not spotted or played in by the midfield. He should have revised his approach to fit, but he perhaps didn't have nearly enough time to do so.
Matt Montgomery is the managing editor of RSL Soapbox. Contact him at email@example.com.
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