Real Salt Lake's first win in what seems like ages couldn't have come at a better time and against a better opponent. LA Galaxy may be the representation of everything RSL isn't, and being 2015 US Open Cup semifinalists continues that traditional rivalry.
Jeff Attinella, 8.5: Good teams have good goalkeepers, and the best teams have two. Real Salt Lake may not be up to snuff, but Attinella's as capable a backup goalkeeper in this league as anyone. It's not just about his stopping Steven Gerrard one-on-one — it's about several key moments in which Attinella kept the match scoreless.
Tony Beltran, 8: His play was closer to a right winger than it was a right back, and it was that aggressive mentality that helped keep RSL in the game. A few times, he seemed to take a little too long on the ball, letting a chance evaporate, but his trepidation might have been more about retaining the ball and not leaving the team exposed than it was about any mental lapse.
Chris Schuler, 7.5: Schuler was effective in calming defensive play, but his lack of involvement on late corners gave some pause for thought — was he injured, or was RSL attempting to play a more conservative game? There's no clear answer on this one yet. Regardless, Schuler did everything you expected outside of that, although his long passes did oft go astray.
Aaron Maund, 8.5: Is there a better match in which to score a first professional goal? It's difficult to say, but Maund's rising header was directed perfectly past Brian Rowe, and that's the culmination of a lot of hard work. But as great as that was, his defensive work was also spot-on, defending well against a very difficult Galaxy side.
Abdoulie Mansally, 7.5: The typically adventurous left back was just that once again, but his last-ditch play was in full effect, too. With one shot that nearly beat Brian Rowe and plenty of play that kept dangerous moments from cropping up, this was one of Mansally's more efficient performances. Add to that a blast of skill and trickery, and Mansally's making a strong case for staying in the lineup when Demar Phillips returns from Gold Cup duty.
Luke Mulholland, 7.5: His passing wasn't perfect, but his cross in for Aaron Maund was as close to it as anything we've seen from the midfielder. Playing in the Kyle Beckerman role is an exacting task, but he managed it well enough. It's nothing you can easily extract from statistics, but he did cut out the passing lanes well. If he'd improve his short passing a bit, he'd be invaluable. Instead, he's merely valuable, which isn't all that bad, I suppose.
Jordan Allen, 7: Let's be honest. I didn't think this would be a good role for Jordan Allen. I'm used to seeing him playing out wide, where his footwork and raw skill can be on display. His play might have been a bit more reserved in a box-to-box role, but his energy, commitment, and — most importantly — ability to read play and connective the midfield together — those things were a joy to watch.
Javier Morales, 8: It's hard to see Real Salt Lake succeeding without the hard work of its captain for the night. He recovered possession extremely well, kept the Galaxy defense thinking and moving, and generally was his creative self. His creativity didn't always come in the form of a final ball, with more instances than usual of the team opting to go. His ability to pick out an onrushing full back so often goes unheralded, and it's that sort of thing that makes him more than just a simple creative attacking midfielder — he's the bonding agent the team needs, especially with Kyle Beckerman away.
Joao Plata, 6.5: The youngster is starting to find his feet again, and one of these days, he'll score his first goal of 2015. Just give him the time, the means, and the opportunities, and it should all come to life. The confidence he'll gather from that first goal will lead to more — and if he keeps getting these chances in front of goal, he'll be rewarded.
Devon Sandoval, 6.5: The on-field life of a target forward can often be a dreary one, and that's reflected well in the chances Devon Sandoval didn't really get in the win. His passing chart — basically a line that stretches across the 20-30 yard area — looks good, but it's also not making him a dangerous player. But with the creative options RSL has in the midfield, a safe forward is more of a boon than maybe some would think, as it helps connect the wide players perfectly. Next time, though, he'll want to finish one of the chances that comes flashing just in front of the goalkeeper's line of scrimmage.
Sebastian Jaime, 7: The striker was apparently none-too-pleased to be exiting the match when he came off late in the second half, and that's an improvement — he's demanding more minutes, and with his goalscoring record recently, he's probably earned that right. But despite some very neat touches, some exciting play outside the box, and a few half-taken opportunities, his coming off seemed fair. That's the sort of night Jaime had — good but not great. Given he was back on the right side of the forward corps, maybe we're starting to learn about his best position on the field.
Olmes Garcia, 6: The Colombian didn't play long, but as an option on the right side, his energy was probably important in RSL's win. Still, I might like to see him go to the corner than take on a low-probability shot when RSL is ahead in stoppage time. Live and learn.
John Stertzer, N/A: No events, no rating. That's alright — Stertzer came in as a time-waster (and a potential extra time player in a worst-case scenario) and the plan worked to perfection.