A wretched start put Real Salt Lake in a bind after only 15 minutes of play, resulting in a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Fire on Saturday. Chicago scored in the 11th and 15th minute of the match, knocking the air out of RSL early, and they never recovered.
From the 63rd minute on, RSL began to test the back line of the Fire. Shots were fired by Luke Mulholland, Ricardo Velazco and Yura Movsisyan, but all their attempts never found the back of the net. The game ended with the Chicago Fire winning their first match of the season, and Real Salt Lake still searching for a victory.
Nick Rimando – (6)
Rimando could not keep the ball twice out of the back of the net after only 15 minutes of play. However, he did have some nice saves the rest of the way, as the defense tightened.
Justin Schmidt – (5.5)
There was some concern if the young Schmidt could hold up in the center back position over a significant period of time. He did an admirable job and showed depth at the position, even though Arturo Álvarez weaved through the backline for Chicago’s second goal.
David Horst – (5)
Horst’s heel became RSL’s Achilles’ heel by giving up the second goal. Bad luck resulted in a sequence of events that put the team down way too early.
Chris Wingert – (5.5)
Wingert defended consistently, but like the other RSL defenders, the marking and defending was not enough to get the victory.
Tony Beltran – (6)
Beltran was physical on both sides of the ball, giving up his body for the team. Fouls were called on Chicago because of his great ball control.
Albert Rusnák – (6)
Rusnák continues to improve and will only get better over time with the team. Expectations are high for this midfielder out of Slovakia.
Kyle Beckerman – (5.5)
It is hard to ask more from the captain when your team is able to possess the ball more than the opponent. However, the scoreboard does not lie, leaving more to be desired from the seasoned veteran and the team.
Sunday Stephen – (4)
Even though many RSL players wanted the offside call, Sunny looked to kick the ball right to Nikolic for a breakaway goal. His error helped fuel Chicago’s first goal, and his time on the field was over by halftime.
Yura Movsisyan – (6)
Movsisyan was the only RSL player to have a shot on goal. With two total shots, Movsisyan had some chances but needed to find more space like the rest of the offense.
Luis Silva – (5)
The midfielder, who returned to RSL after a stint with Liga MX’s Tigres, had some good looks at goal, but they all went awry. Silva will continue to develop as the team gets healthy again because Silva’s true role should be as a spark off the bench.
Jordan Allen – (5)
Allen’s injury in the first half did not allow for much from this versatile player, which was unfortunate for an already injured team. However, his physical play tried to keep the team afloat after being down two early goals.
Ricardo Velazco – (6)
Velazco filled in nicely for the injured Allen. He was aggressive with the ball and took a handful of fouls from the opposing team. Velazco continued to fight, proving his value to the team.
Luke Mulholland – (6.5)
Mulholland was a game-changer when he took the field. Some may clamor for him to take his spot back after Sunny’s lackluster performance. Mulholland led the team with three total shots and looks ready to compete this season.
Chad Barrett – (5.5)
Barrett came in towards the end of the match to try to ignite the offensive attack. As soon as he entered, Barrett sent a cross into the box that no one was able to connect with, but he created some slight hope in a game that started hopelessly.
Shane Reinhard is a graduate of Weber State University, and a teacher and coach at St. Joseph Catholic High School in Ogden, Utah. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @hoopsters12.