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Two winners, four losers from RSL’s 4-0 loss to Houston Dynamo

It wasn’t a great match. It wasn’t even a good match.

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Real Salt Lake lost 4-0 to Houston Dynamo on the back of a poor defensive performance, and while preseason is more about fitness and trying things than it is winning, it was certainly a disappointment.

It was nearly as disappointing as the streaming quality in the first half of the match.

Let’s react.

Winner: Giuseppe Rossi

Getting to see Giuseppi Rossi in a match for the first time was surprisingly nice. He’s clearly not in his full state, which one assumes he’d take some time to get into. He didn’t score a goal, but he looked bright, and he showed his own flair at the forward spot. Particularly in the second half (which is when the match was actually viewable), we saw him drop deep to pick up possession, and that was part of what made us look effective in the attack.

Loser: RSL’s second/third-string defense — and maybe Zac MacMath

RSL conceded a bunch of goals that were, well, soft. No wonder-strikes, no unbeatable dribbles. There were poor clearances, poor attempts at marking, poor reading of the game — really, it was an experienced top-tier attack from Houston against a bottom-tier defensive group.

I actually think individually, any of them could play and RSL would be alright. Even two of them, maybe. But all four of our backup defenders playing at the same time looked weak. Maybe that’s fine.

Winner: Pablo Ruiz

RSL coach Freddy Juarez’s view of what Pablo Ruiz can bring to the side is starting to become a bit more clear. He played primarily in an attacking midfield spot — and mostly centrally, at that. It wasn’t quite what I expected to see, but it was an interesting development.

Loser: Taylor Peay

I don’t know exactly what Taylor Peay is doing with RSL in preseason, considering he signed a Real Monarchs contract, but I have a pretty good idea that whatever it was hasn’t panned out. (Which is to say, I think he was in contention for an RSL contract of some sort.) I know he’s part of the defense and thus encapsulated above, but he stood out on his own here as somebody who was simply not good enough.

Now, I have no idea what Brian Dunseth’s tweet here is about, exactly (I mean, explicitly speaking) — but I think it’s illustrative.

Loser: Ashtone Morgan

See the above tweet, but I think Morgan had a chance when he signed to lift the starting spot from Donny Toia’s shoulders.

If today’s match was any indication, he’s a long way from doing that.

That’s not to say he’s a bad signing or a bad player, but I do think he squandered a huge opportunity here.

Loser: Zac MacMath

How many conceded goals can be pinned on MacMath and how many on the defenders? Well, it’s never easy to say, but there’s definitely a share of the blame here. David Ochoa and Andrew Putna, you’re up. Let’s see what happens.