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Real Salt Lake report card: Defense, offense share blame in first loss of season

Published: Saturday, Sept. 5 2015 12:47 a.m. MDT

Seattle Sounders' Obafemi Martins, right, scores a goal past Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Jeff Attinella (24), in the second half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, May 31, 2014, in Seattle. The Sounders beat Real Salt Lake 4-0.  (Ted S. Warren, Associated Press) Seattle Sounders' Obafemi Martins, right, scores a goal past Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Jeff Attinella (24), in the second half of an MLS soccer match, Saturday, May 31, 2014, in Seattle. The Sounders beat Real Salt Lake 4-0. (Ted S. Warren, Associated Press)

Real Salt Lake's undefeated streak came to a rather spectacular end as i lost 4-0 in Seattle to MLS leaders Seattle Sounders.

Jeff Attinella, 5, was better than the four goals conceded might lead you to believe, but his failure to control the ball before the penalty was a significant error.

Tony Beltran, 6, didn’t stand out particularly, and for a defensive showing that wasn’t good (or close to it), that’s a good thing. He got forward well and tracked back well.

Aaron Maund, 4, had a generally better game than a low rating would indicate, but he made several key errors that led to two or three goals — depending on whether referee Ricardo Salazar correctly made a penalty decision.

Nat Borchers, 5, wasn’t woeful, but when your defense leaks four goals, you’re not going to win many plaudits.

Chris Wingert, 6.5, was defensively strong, and once he exited, Seattle took distinct advantage of our left-sided deficit — a tactical decision, but one that speaks to the strengths of the left back.

Cole Grossman, 5.5, was more focused on the defensive side of his game, and while that didn’t help RSL's attack, it did help the team defensively. He was found wanting on the free kick RSL conceded that became the second goal.

Ned Grabavoy, 6, was one of only a few players with much attacking impetus to his play. More importantly, he got forward well and retreated well.

Luke Mulholland, 4.5, was essentially ineffective in the second half when RSL was down a goal or two. He didn’t contribute on the defensive end when it was most important that the team keep things relatively tight, and he struggled to get into the attacking rhythm.

Javier Morales, 6.5, was everywhere once again. He got back defensively, pushed forward in the attack, and distributed from everywhere in the attacking half.

Olmes Garcia, 6.5, looked the most likely to make things happen. He pushed into great positions, dropped back when needed, and hit the crossbar on one stellar occasion.

Devon Sandoval, 5, just couldn’t control things as he would have liked. He was consistently overpowered on the ball, and that made it difficult to play a smooth attacking style.

Matt Montgomery is the managing editor of RSL Soapbox. Contact him at montgomery.matt@gmail.com.

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