Looking for its first road win of the year, Real Salt Lake took on the Whitecaps in Vancouver on Friday night. The away team dominated possession throughout the night and even took more shots than the Whitecaps, but Real could not capitalize. A penalty kick by Cristian Techera in the 75th minute and a goal by Anthony Blondell in the 79th minute sent RSL home with another road loss, 2-0.
Nick Rimando (5.5) — Rimando, who is seeking his 200th MLS win, made two incredible saves, but needed to make a few more. His backline had some trouble in the second half, which was expected with the amount of changes Mike Petke has made as he looks for the right combination.
Pablo Ruiz (6.5) — Ruiz, at only 19 years of age, was the youngest of the backline players Friday night. He helped fuel a clean sheet for 75 minutes, and Petke may want to keep him around in the starting lineup moving forward.
Nick Besler (4.5) — Besler's flop with a clear in the 74th minute was the beginning of the end for RSL. He had played a clean match up to this point, but the foul in the box was too much to overcome. Furthermore, Besler struggled to keep Vancouver's Alphonso Davies out of the box in the 79th minute when Davies assisted on Blondell's goal.
Justen Glad (7) — Glad's slide tackle in the 15th minute saved an early goal. The man continues his backline superiority. He was just late to stopping Blondell's 79th minute goal, but it had more to do with Besler getting beat than it did Glad.
Brooks Lennon (6.5) — The niche that Lennon is starting to create for himself is one on the defensive side of the field. Petke is in dire need of it, and Lennon is making his mark. Still, Lennon needs to play stronger. He got brushed off easily in the 79th minute when Davies sailed down the field. Lennon wanted a foul, but play continued on, resulting in a Vancouver goal.
Damir Kreilach (7) — The midfield was solid and Kreilach had a lot to do with it. With RSL maintaining possession 69 percent of the match, Kreilach and company were able to get off some quality shots; they just needed to put some away.
Albert Rusnák (7) — Rusnák had some great looks at goal Friday night, but none of his four shots left a mark. He continues to create for his team, but others need to put some of his passes away.
Kyle Beckerman (6.5) — The RSL veteran helped lead a strong midfield into Vancouver that is continuing to show strides of improvement. However, if the frontline continues to struggle scoring goals, the midfield may become more shot-oriented.
Joao Plata (6) — In the 45th minute, Plata took a shot that sailed over the crossbar after goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic made an incredible save. Plata only had one more look at goal and that was it. Petke and his staff will continue to work finding ways to get this Ecuadorian open in space.
Corey Baird (5.5) — The shot Baird ripped in the 23rd minute was electric, but nailed off the crossbar. That summed up his night. No other shots came from Baird in the match, and the attacking third is still figuring things out.
Jefferson Savarino (6.5) — Through eight games, Savarino has one goal and one assist. In this match, he took five shots, but wasn't rewarded on even one. In the coming months, RSL's season may hinge on Savarino's ability to score.
Ricky Lopez-Espin (5.5) — Lopez-Espin subbed in for the struggling Baird in the 68th minute, but he didn't do any better. He took one shot in 22 minutes of play.
Sebastian Saucedo (N/A) — In the 90th minute, Saucedo came into the match for Besler.
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.