Player Ratings: Goalkeeping, defensive contributions highlight series win over Galaxy

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Rimando - 8 Staving off a point blank shot from one of the best soccer players to ever have been born in the U.S. alone is enough to earn high praise. Doing it in a do or die situation against the richest team in the league makes it even more impressive. That wasn't Rimando's only save, he had multiple. At this point it is silly how many difficult saves he has made.

Nat Borchers - 8 Borchers was a work horse and did his part to take Keane and Donovan out of the game essentially. He also got in their heads as you could see Donovan bickering with Borchers a couple of times.

Chris Schuler - 9 For my money, Schuler has been the MVP of the series. Shutting down Keane and Donovan happened in large part because of Schuler's massive defensive prowess. He made saves, step-ins, and tackles that made the Galaxy strikers by and large ineffective. Sweet justice was served when Schuler put in the game winning goal.

Chris Wingert - 7.5 Wingert's defending was positionally fantastic. He makes up for a lack of speed now and then by just being in the right place and working hard. His assist on the first RSL goal was clinical and that put the night in motion and gave the series life.

Tony Beltran - 6.5 Beltran had a nice performance with his defending on the flanks. Having him at the outside back position just gives RSL a nice presence. Beltran was calm and focused.

Kyle Beckerman - 7 Beckerman was incredible in his defense, in winning balls, and in keeping possession. He looked even more determined than usual and his play demonstrated that.

Sebastian Velasquez - 8 What a game for Velasquez. The pure joy in his goal celebration alone merits a higher player rating. As Kreis mentioned, Velasquez took a big step forward in his career in the last game against the Galaxy in that he took it upon himself to make things happen rather than deferring to the veterans. Velasquez's future just got that much brighter.

Javier Morales - 8 The man was robbed of a goal but then had the last laugh with an assist to Schuler for the game-winner. He looked hungry and in my mind nobody on this team deserves a trophy more than Morales (considering how much he has given to this club and having been largely not able to participate in the 2009 MLS Cup game.) Hopefully a trophy is in his future this year.

Luis Gil - 6 Gil's passes were a bit heavy on the night, but credit to him, when his passes weren't clicking he put that much more work in on the defensive side of the ball.

Robbie Findley - 6.5 Findley did a fantastic job of creating chances for his team and creating space for the midfield and for Sabo. Findley does well in the biggest games and that really matters.

Alvaro Saborio - 6 Sabo had a sliver of a chance and hit the post. He also had a header that very well should have been a goal or an assist. Either way, having Saborio on the field demands respect from the opposition. He put in more work pressuring the Galaxy defenders than he usually does and it didn't go unnoticed.

Substitutes

Olmes Garcia - 6 Garcia kept the Galaxy defense honest for the latter part of the game and tired them out. He put it a lot of work and truth be told he deserves another goal after a somewhat lengthy drought. It will come.

Khari Stephenson - 5.5 Khari came into the game at a point in which a rhythm was already established but he was calm as usual and had a shot, albeit not on frame. Not bad at all.

Cole Grossman - 6 I thought Grossman did great for not having much playoff experience. He was a thorn in the Galaxy's side on the defensive end and did well under intense pressure towards the end of the game.

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