Loser: Marcelo Silva
Nearly every match I have seen Marcelo Silva has featured one or two very bad moments, where he loses his mark, or he falls asleep on a set piece, or something like that. We saw our two tonight. It is extremely clear to me why he’s been largely benched, and I think he will go right back there. Seriously — on both goals conceded, he’s on the wrong side of his mark, and it’s sort of a fundamentals issue at this point. I am very unhappy.
Loser: Albert Rusnak
I don’t know why it is, but Rusnak has been sleepwalking in the last two matches. We don’t need to relive that Colorado match, but we can talk about tonight. He didn’t shirk tonight, thankfully, but his passing in the final 15 minutes was poor, and he was not a creative force. I will say that his set pieces were good tonight — but we cannot field him for set pieces alone.
Loser: Kyle Beckerman
I think the first yellow card was a bit harsh. I even think the second yellow card was a bit harsh. But despite those two things, he should have been more cautious after getting an early yellow (he could have even seen a different second yellow earlier than this,) and he likely should have been pulled at halftime without hesitation. (That one’s not on Kyle, of course. That’s on Freddy Juarez.)
Kyle Beckerman in 2020 is truly representative of the year.
Loser: Freddy Juarez
At this point, Freddy Juarez is probably finding himself in a spot of trouble. He’s still struggling to proactively substitute players, and I think he missed in a big way by leaving Kyle Beckerman in the match after halftime. I’d love to see a more proactive Juarez — and that’s because I think he’s potentially a really great coach, but his reluctance is an odd bit of self-sabotage at this point.
I should also say that I think our roster is not particularly great, and I think our depth is showing real signs of trouble. After repeated poor performances, I understand why he might not look to the bench immediately. Still, he’s got what he’s got, and he needs to start giving young players extended minutes — players like Jeizon Ramirez,. At this point, it can’t hurt more than what we’ve seen.
(Actually, come to think of it, just start Jeizon Ramirez, or give him 45 minutes of action. That’s all.)
Winner: Maikel Chang
Maikel Chang, for me, is the surprise player of the return to play in 2020. He has taken full advantage of his minutes, and he has earned himself a starting spot. He’s not perfect, but he is standing far ahead of the other players around him.
Winner: Justin Meram
Meram was consistently one of the more dangerous RSL players in the second half, with his equalizing goal — down a man — a huge moment. It is a shame that his teammates immediately fell asleep and conceded.
Winner: Pablo Ruiz
I have been very much in the court of Pablo Ruiz in recent weeks (as have we all, really), and tonight was another demonstration of why. He is a defensive workhorse, a good possession player, and he’s got a rocket for a leg. He twice had shots saved in fairly spectacular fashion. He is very much the real deal, and I am excited for his future.
Neither: Andrew Putna
We know exactly who Andrew Putna is by this point. I know there will be a desire to dunk on him tonight, but I actually think his being more than a bench player is on both the failure of Zac MacMath to capitalize on the situation, on David Ochoa’s injured finger that kept him out of the MLS is Back tournament and a bit after that, and on RSL’s failure to bring on an established goalkeeper following the retirement of Nick Rimando.
So, no, Andrew Putna is not a loser tonight. He has shown good shot-stopping in one-off matches when called on outside of regular appearances. We know who he is, and I will not begrudge him for the situation he’s been placed in.
Winner: Justen Glad
If Justen Glad was behind Marcelo Silva at the start of the night, it sure feels like he won’t be on Wednesday. I guess that makes him a winner.