CINCINNATI — Meeting for the first time, Real Salt Lake travelled to take on FC Cincinnati Friday night. Something had to give as Real, losers of three straight road matches, and FC Cincinnati, winless in four straight overall, were both trying to get back on the winning side of things. Most of the first half, the score stayed 0-0, but Albert Rusnák broke the match open in the 42nd minute and Sam Johnson scored right before halftime. In the 59th minute, Rusnák scored again to blank FC Cincinnati, 3-0.
Andrew Putna (7) – Filling in for Nick Rimando, Putna performed admirably with a clean sheet. Putna only had one save, but he kept FC Cincinnati out of the back of the net.
Donny Toia (7) – Toia led the team in tackles with two, and cleared any danger from the left side of the pitch time after time.
Nedum Onuoha (7) – Connecting on 88% of his passes, Onuoha accurately moved the ball around to help put Real in successful attacking positions. A strong performance by Onuoha can only give coach Mike Petke confidence about Onuoha’s job security moving forward.
Justen Glad (6.5) – Glad and Onuoha paired nicely on Good Friday together. Even though FC Cincinnati took more shots than Real, 14-10, Glad and company made sure Cincinnati did not have quality chances.
Aaron Herrera (7) – Herrera, playing in Brooks Lennon’s normal spot, performed at a high level all match. His one shot on goal and stabilizing defense resulted in a well-rounded evening for the 21-year-old.
Damir Kreilach (7) – Though Real Salt Lake was out-possessed 51% to 49%, Kreilach made sure his team’s possession counted. He accounted for 55 successful passes in the match, which led the team, allowing for quick counters in the attacking third the other way.
Kyle Beckerman (6.5) – Beckerman was only dispossessed once on the evening and stayed out of the books as well. Even as he ages, Beckerman continues to hold this team together in the midfield.
Corey Baird (6.5) – The young American had two good looks in the match, but neither got past the Cincinnati goalkeeper. However, his great defensive hustle in the 64th minute created a chance for Savarino that barely missed left of the goal going the other way.
Albert Rusnák (9) – An early yellow card was definitely not the focus of Rusnák’s evening. A 42nd-minute goal and a penalty score in the 59th minute bring his season total to four goals scored.
Jefferson Savarino (7.5) – Though Savarino did not score or assist on any goals, he was an aggressive, assertive player. Savarino’s quickness in the 56th minute got around the Cincinnati defensive, and he got fouled in the box, leading to Rusnák's second goal.Comment on this story
Sam Johnson (7) – On a possession where Kreilach and Baird both had amazing looks, the third time was the charm for Johnson during stoppage time of the first half. His left foot buried the ball to put Real up 2-0.
Sebastian Saucedo (6) – Not much materialized for Bofo after he entered the match, in the 74th minute, for Corey Baird. His lack of offense was made up for by his defense to help shut out FC Cincinnati.
Nick Besler (N/A) – Besler took the place of Johnson in the 87th minute.
Joao Plata (N/A) – In the 90th minute, Plata entered the match for Savarino.