Real Salt Lake needed a win on Sunday afternoon to stay in playoff contention against Sporting Kansas City. Things started well when Luis Silva got the ball past Sporting's goalkeeper, Andrew Dykstra, in the fourth minute. Luck continued on the side of the home team when Brooks Lennon struck a ball right at the goalkeeper, but it ricocheted back to Lennon, and his next strike was pure in the 42nd minute. The Claret and Cobalt did enough for the win, but San Jose ended up winning against Minnesota to take the last playoff spot.
Nick Rimando (6.5) — Sporting KC's only goal, by Ikenna Ike Opara right before stoppage time in the second half, had more to do with no RSL player bodying Opara than a Rimando mistake. His four saves were timely against a Sporting KC side that was looking to move up the playoff leaderboard.
Chris Wingert (6.5) — Wingert got the start for the injured Tony Beltran. The wing defender did well to keep Sporting's attack players at bay, while helping to hold their forwards to no goals.
Marcelo Silva (6) — He lost track of Opara on the free kick that resulted in a goal, but Silva's performance was solid for the centerback. It was good to have him back from injury to partner with Justen Glad.
Justen Glad (7) — The 2017 season is now over, but Glad's time in Major League Soccer is just beginning. This year was his coming-out party, and next year he will be one of the best centerback players in the league.
Danilo Acosta (5.5) — It was good to see Acosta finish the season in the starting lineup. He has a long way to go but will continue to add defensive depth to the youth movement of RSL.
Luke Mulholland (6.5) — With the time of possession almost being even (49/51), RSL did well in the first half as the aggressor. In the second half, Sporting KC got a lot more goal chances, but Mulholland and company did their best to muck up the game and make it an RSL kind of matchup.
Kyle Beckerman (6.5) — When your coach says at the end of the match that "there will be a statue of him out there some day," Beckerman's legacy speaks for itself. His performance against Sporting KC may not have been glamorous, but Beckerman did the dirty work to get a win without much pomp and circumstance coming his way.
Brooks Lennon (7.5) — Lennon's goal was all about sticking with the play. He almost had another goal in the 77th minute, but his heavy touch negated his scoring opportunity.
Albert Rusnák (7) — The man just knows how to get the ball to scorers, doesn't he? Another assist brings his season total to 13, which is good for Top-5 in the league.
Joao Plata (6) — In the 25th minute, Plata almost got around Dykstra, but his out-stretching arms left Plata puzzled on how his chance was all for naught. Even though Plata did not have a shot in the match, he distributed nicely to his teammates.
Luis Silva (7.5) — Rusnák rewarded Silva for being in the right place on the field for RSL's first goal. Playing at the top of the formation has helped Silva grow in confidence throughout the year, proving he is a starter in Major League Soccer.
Jefferson Savarino (5.5) — It was great to see Savarino come back from injury by subbing in for Plata in the 73rd minute. Savarino started a little rusty, but looked more comfortable as the match continued on.
Demar Phillips (N/A) — In the 79th minute Phillips entered the match for Wingert to shore up the defensive side of the field.
Yura Movsisyan (N/A) — Movsisyan subbed into the match for Luis Silva in the 87th minute.
Shane Reinhard is a graduate of Weber State University and a teacher and coach at St. Joseph Catholic High School in Ogden, Utah. Email: [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @hoopsters12.