RSL Soapbox writer Randal Serr takes on player ratings after Saturday night's goalless draw with Vancouver Whitecaps.
Before I get to the ratings, I need to give my initial thoughts on the RSL playoff series against Seattle. First, I feel good about the matchup. RSL has done well against them historically and I have no reason to belive that they cannot continue that good run against the Sounders.
Second, Seattle played five games in October while RSL played four. That is not that big of a deal, but it does mean something when fatigue matters for form, especially with how emotionally and physically draining the playoffs and run-up to the playoffs can be. Is that why Eddie Johnson is having a hamstring problem? Possibly. And that could cost them.
Having key players injured while entering the playoffs is bad news. RSL learned that the hard way and because of that, I think Real did the right thing resting some of the key players that needed that rest to be fully healthy for the playoffs. Now for the ratings:
Kyle Reynish - 7 Glad to see Reynish get some minutes. I have no reason to give him lower than a 7 with a shutout. I hope this game restored his confidence since he had a few slip-ups earlier in the season.
Kwame Watson-Siriboe - 8 For me, Kwame was the player of the game. He made some very timely saves and looked really sharp for his first game back from injury. Bright future for this kid. I see a nice combo for him and Schuler teaming up together in the back.
Tony Beltran - 6 Pretty solid game, nothing to complain about. And from what I can tell, Beltran is hungry for a goal. He seems to be pulling the trigger more this year than ever before.
Kenny Mansally - 5 Judging from his teamates reactions, he was not making the passes he was supposed to nor putting himself in the right spots at the right times. Kreis said he was pleased with him though, so what do I know?
Chris Wingert - 7 Mr. Versatility. I think that new nickname is fitting.
Kyle Beckerman - 7 Looked more like Beckerman this game than last, but I want to see more headbutts. I kid.
Luis Gil - 5 The kid shows flashes at times. I did not see many flashes agains the Whitecaps.
Jonny Steele - 4 I am starting to wonder if this is as good as it gets from Steele. I know he essentially saved two games for RSL early on, but I have seen little since then that convinces me he is the real deal.
Ned Grabavoy - 6.5 I thought he had some creative moments and filled his role well. Glad to see him return as I believe he has earned his spot in the starting XI. I know there are some haters out there, but I disagree.
Fabian Espindola - 5 Where is the form that we saw over the course of three games? Seemed like he could do no wrong
Alvaro Saborio - 5 Thank the soccer gods that Sabo is back in the RSL lineup, although, I was not impressed much with his performance against Vancouver. Probably because the bar has been set so high.
David Viana - 5 I was not nearly as impressed this match as I was in his debut. Oh well, I still think he has a lot of promise.
Will Johnson - 6.5 Did not have a bad game, especially for coming in late. But not his best game ever either.
Sebastian Velasquez - 7 Few minutes, but impressive. His nutmeg from the corner was impressive and showed that he is confident in his abilities. One of the most exciting plays of the match that created arguably the best scoring chance for RSL (granted, in a game that did not contain very many scoring chances.)