If at the end of the first half of RSL’s 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes you asked me who should be player of the match, I’d have said it’s hard not to give Rubio Rubin his third of the season.
He proved in week one and two how good he can be, and with the goal in the first half of this one he was well on his way to a third.
I mean, look at his absolute beaut of a bicycle kick. The RioT hasn’t seen a goal like that since Javier Morales in 2013.
That, and the fact Rubin had more key passes than any other player on the field. He had 94% passing accuracy. He has proven to be a consistent threat and although this is supposed to be player of the match, he now has three goals in three games. That is huge.
Still not entirely sure why he subbed off tonight, as he looked dangerous, but alas that is what happened.
But the second half of this game also happened. And that’s where things fell apart a little bit.
Despite the ugly ending, Andrew Brody looked strong. He created a dangerous chance in the first half and continues to show that he can do really well at right back.
He played a full 90 today with no major errors and I think deserves a bit of appreciation again as someone who really stepped into a role he wasn’t necessarily expected to play in. He fought hard to limit his fouls and power through an experienced defense to stay involved in RSL’s new high-press attack.
At the end of the day though, somehow Chris Wondolowski was the difference in this match.
Traditionally you wouldn’t see an opponent shout in a story like this but there comes a point where you have to just tip your cap to someone who out played your team and that’s what happened tonight with Wondolowski.
18 minutes, two goals, 100% pass rate and he singlehandedly won San Jose the game tonight. Wondolowksi deserves the respect he has earned in his eternity in this league and I think the tweet below from RSL just sums up how all of us felt after this one.
Really hope that guy retires soon pic.twitter.com/yRZ6qjqfzf— Real Salt Lake (@realsaltlake) May 8, 2021
Ultimately, there were some good individual performances from the team tonight. And it was by far not the ugliest soccer we’ve seen from RSL. It just needs to be cleaned up a little bit and you can’t fall asleep guarding Wondolowski and expect not to get burned.