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Player Ratings: Real Salt Lake 1-1 Chicago Fire

With Randal Serr out for the day, I've been tasked with writing this week's player ratings following that painful, sort-of-good match on Saturday. Let's have at it.


Nick Rimando: 7/10. The goalkeeper-in-chief was reasonable throughout, and his distribution was actually very good — 34/38 on the day is fantastic for a goalkeeper. He made only one real save, and he let in one goal. This is about as high as Rimando can get for this. There is a sense that he should have been better on the goal — with marking a clear issue, he should be organizing the players around him. Without extensive replays, it's difficult to say who was at fault, so let's just distribute that among the team evenly.

Tony Beltran: 7.5/10. Our little right back was as good as ever, stepping up well — five interceptions would indicate that — and dominating the right flank. His passing was very good — 70/77 passes — and we never really looked like giving up much down that side.

Carlos Salcedo: 7/10. Salcedo strangely was blamed for losing his mark on the goal, which wasn't the case. He could have done better in his challenge in the box for that goal, but he was largely dominant. It's particularly interesting that he seems to have jumped ahead of Aaron Maund and Kwame Watson-Siriboe in contention for places. He's an incredibly hard worker, and that's paid dividends.

Nat Borchers: 7/10. But for that goal, Nat Borchers led the defense extremely well. His calm head keeps us in matches over and over, and his partnership with Carlos Salcedo seems to really be blossoming. Throughout, Borchers exhibited his calming influence over the pairing.

Chris Wingert: 7.5/10. The slightly more defensive of the full backs on the day had a good match. Wingert's dominant defensive effort was a reminder that he's almost certainly our best option in that spot. He also nearly had a goal — that would've been some sight. He hasn't done that since 2010 with RSL.

Kyle Beckerman: 8/10. The captain may not have been the most noticeable, but his involvement in build-up is unmistakable. He held dominion over the center of the pitch, got involved in shooting, and stepped up to notch eight interceptions.

Ned Grabavoy: 7/10. People have sometimes accused me of loving Ned Grabavoy just too much, but the amount of ground he covers and his ability to retain possession of the ball are often unheralded. Take a look at his chalkboards for the night and you'll see just what I mean. He is everywhere. He also picked up four key passes — that's something too often overlooked. He's so regularly the last link before a shot, and his cross for Alvaro Saborio's goal was immaculate.

Luis Gil: 6/10. This wasn't Luis Gil's best night, but it was hardly his worst. His passing was good and he dropped back defensively when needed, but he also seemed to delay his movement a bit too long. To get back to his best, he'll need to be more ready to play a simple ball that might not change the game — I just get a sense he's forcing things right now. This was certainly an improvement on past performances, though.

Javier Morales: 7.5/10. Lest we forget just how good our playmaker is, it should be pointed out that he had a good, active night and covered essentially all of the attacking half. He was involved in lots of passing movement, and he picked up five key passes.

Joao Plata: 6/10. Oh, Joao. This was not his best night, but I suppose it was hardly his worst night. He didn't find a whole lot of joy throughout, but there was something fascinating about watching him go up against some of the bigger center backs in the league. He's a fearless kid, and he's not afraid to step in front of a much bigger player. So there's something, at least.

Robbie Findley: 5.5/10. Tactically, Findley may have been a good option to stretch the defense, but I'm not sure what the point of having him sticking on the flanks is, entirely. He could and should have done better with his chances, especially the two in the box that he fluffed. If he finishes those, the game opens up for him and space appears not just on the flanks but through the middle.


Alvaro Saborio: 8/10. There's a reason we miss this man so much when he's absent, and it's his ability to score goals like that one that gives opportunity for us to realize it. He rises supremely and finishes superbly — and that's par for the course with this guy. We missed him, and I'm glad he's back.

Sebastian Velasquez: 6.5/10. Velasquez wasn't on for too long, and when he came on, he wasn't hugely involved aside from the goal. Now, his contribution there — going down, getting back up, keeping possession, running immediately at a player, and laying off a pass for Grabavoy to float in to Saborio. The kid gets points for the second assist, but he was otherwise a little quiet after coming on.

Yordany Alvarez: 5/10. Alvarez had no chance to make a real delible impact on the game, as it wasn't long after he came on that the goal was scored. I don't see his introduction as bunkering, though — he helps to build play through the middle and has a good passing mentality to him.