Winner: Rubio Rubin
Rubio Rubin was, in a word, magnificent. His brace of goals had everything you want from a striker in a team playing possession-focused soccer, providing hold-up play to keep things moving. His goals were a thing to see, with both coming from tough angles.
The first saw him take down a Damir Kreilach cross completely unmarked, finishing through the goalkeeper’s legs at the near post; the second saw Rubin finish from the opposite side and a similar angle with three defenders between him and the goal.
It has been far too long since we’ve had a goalscorer who can do that, and I’m thrilled we have Rubin playing so well — esepcially so early in his RSL career. Long may it continue.
Loser: Marcelo Silva
On another day, Marcelo Silva’s chaotic defending could have cost us dearly. He caught Alan Pulido with a high foot inside the box in the second half, and that could easily have been a penalty had Pulido not been called offside.
For all the good Silva offers, the chaos is sometimes unbearable.
Winner: Andrew Brody
Less than one year ago, Andrew Brody was playing in the third division of Austrian soccer for FC Pinzgau after being generally alright for Real Monarchs. Today, he came on for his first MLS match, replacing an injured Aaron Herrera. There was every reason to be hesitant about his substitution, but Andrew Brody put concerns to rest quickly and easily. Save for Rubin, he may have been RSL’s most involved attacking player — a feat for any right back, let alone a 25-year-old academy graduate making his first step to the first team.
Winner: Damir Kreilach
Kreilach was quite good on the day, making his mark in the air with a headed goal from an Andrew Brody cross. It was certainly not the only thing he did right today, but it’s easily the thing that will bring the most attention. Speaking broadly, Kreilach did the little things right, defended well, and helped create meaningful moments in the attack.
Loser: Donny Toia
Toia was a bit dreadful through the first half, and while he was certainly left on an island, he struggled to cope with the weight of Sporting Kansas City’s attack. I thought he improved in the second half, though.
Winner: Pablo Ruiz
Every week, Pablo Ruiz is a winner. Quite remarkable, isn’t it?