It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these newfangled stock reports, hasn’t it?
Short answer: Yes. It’s been over a month. At that point, players with rising stock were Brooks Lennon and Sebastian Velasquez, and that’s continued to be the case. Lennon’s looked good so far with the U.S. U-20s, and it hurt us a bit to lose him to them. Velasquez continues scoring goals at an unbelievable clip for Real Monarchs.
On the downslope, we had Joao Plata and Luis Silva. I’d stand by Plata, and I think his stock has fallen even further. But Silva’s stock has leveled out, and I think it’s actually increased a little bit.
Let’s get to players whose stocks have been falling during RSL’s recent slide in form.
Down: Yura Movsisyan
The once-undroppable Movsisyan has found himself on the other end of Mike Petke’s pecking order, and he’s started one game in his last three. He came out of that one with a potential concussion concern at halftime. That alone doesn’t cause the drop, but if you’re not starting matches when you once did, it’ll always give us pause for thought.
He now hasn’t scored in over a month, and while I don’t think that’s entirely his fault, it’s not helping his stock right now. Expect this to change soon, but it’ll take time. And just remember — strikers are streaky. Even the best one.
March 14: Down
OK, OK — I know I’m going to get flayed for this one a bit, but I actually think Sunny’s been a good performer in recent weeks. I know he had a rough patch early on, and RSL isn’t winning right now, but he’s one of the team’s best passers, statistically. He’s also starting to show that he can perform well with Kyle Beckerman when he gets a chance to act as a ball-winning midfielder. He brings something very different to the table than Luke Mulholland, but he’s finally — finally! — starting to get this season under control.
Remember, a ‘down’ rating doesn’t always mean that a player isn’t performing. In these cases, injuries for each player are keeping them from leveling out. Now, Tony Beltran’s getting ready to come back. He has an excellent chance to right this rating.
Up: Chris Schuler
I know, this is weird. Real Salt Lake’s defense hasn’t exactly set the world alight with their recent record. But Schuler has come back into form well, and he hasn’t shown any sign of the long-term injuries that nearly claimed his career. If he can form a good partnership with an Aaron Maund or some other center back, maybe he continues this rise.
Down: Chris Wingert
To this point in the season, nobody would have expected 34-year-old Wingert to start all but two matches. As a backup, he’s capable. As a near-constant, playing in three different positions, Wingert has shown why, at this point in his career, he’s not expected to do that.
This reflects more on the state of injuries on the team than anything else, but it’s still not helping his stock much.
Up: Justin Schmidt
March 14: Up
Justin Schmidt has had the strange knack of looking very much like a rookie sometimes, and at other times, looking a bit like a standard MLS center back. I think that means he’s showing good promise, even if he doesn’t always actuate on that.
Most recently, Schmidt has looked like a capable left back, getting forward well every now and again. It’s all been by necessity, but he’s taken the opportunities in front of him.