Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Real Salt Lake faced a difficult side to break down in New York Red Bulls, ending their three-match home stand with a 1-1 draw.
The match provided a bit of excitement and drama, with a great goal coming from Joao Plata, whose goal-scoring exploits continue, and with Olmes Garcia providing a bit of controversy despite some good play.
Ratings are 1-10 and represent a general sense of each player's performance.
Nick Rimando, 6.5, had a blocked angle on Thierry Henry's goal for New York, and he made a near-crucial flub in the first half when he mishandled a pass along the ground that could have put his team behind. Still, he did well enough on corners and set pieces to hold his head high from the match.
Tony Beltran, 8, was near his strongest, getting into very advanced positions and even breaking into the box at times. His defensive effort was top-notch, defending one-on-one as expertly as ever.
Nat Borchers, 7, was good in the air defensively and helped maintain an even game in the first 20 minutes, when New York was pushing hardest for a goal.
Chris Schuler, 7.5, stepped into important positions over and over — a trait that defines his game — and showed some recovery speed that seems new to his play.
Chris Wingert, 5.5, did well defensively throughout the match, but too often gave the ball away in possession when an attack was building.
Kyle Beckerman, 7, was good if not great. He dealt well enough with Thierry Henry, whose positioning saw him largely in Beckerman's area. Notably, he nearly had a goal after a great run through the middle.
Ned Grabavoy, 6.5, was consistent and helped build the attack, but a bit more movement in the attacking third from him wouldn't have gone amiss.
Luke Mulholland, 6, had a great first half and was at the center of a lot of good movement, but faded significantly in the second half once again. His substitution came as a welcome change.
Javier Morales, 6.5, was creative and involved, but the match was a difficult one for an attacking midfielder. New York packed the area expertly.
Joao Plata, 8, took his goal brilliantly — a tough shot through a crowded area — and was generally the attacking player with the most spark. The impetus to get forward was felt in his play, and his ability to burst down the flank in possession stretched the game in important ways.
Olmes Garcia, 6, was actually quite good until an incident with former RSL man Jamison Olave saw him unceremoniously pulled from the game. He wasn't finding complete joy in attack, but he was working hard in good areas, and he was getting back defensively — saving a play or two on occasion.
Luis Gil, 6, had a moment of true skill on the right side of the attack, beating two or three players individually. But he struggled to make a definitive impact outside of a few choice moments.
Robbie Findley, 6, offered an exacting threat with runs through the middle of the park, but he came in at the most difficult time of the match — when New York was bedded in fully for a draw.
Matt Montgomery is the managing editor of RSL Soapbox. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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