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RSL vs. Seattle Sounders: Three winners, two losers

Rusnak makes an appearance in the Winners column after a strong performance.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Real Salt Lake Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

I’m in a weird position after tonight’s match. I think Real Salt Lake both showed pretty well and showed pretty poorly, and it’s really got me turned around. Were we good? Sorta. Were we bad? Sorta. Should we have lost that match? Almost definitely.

Here we are after RSL’s 2-1 loss to Seattle Sounders, and I’m just trying to make sense of things. Let’s go over some winners and losers, shall we?

Winner: Albert Rusnak

He’s spent a lot of time in the wilderness, but Albert Rusnak may have returned tonight. This isn’t about his penalty — it doesn’t have to be. Rusnak was smart on the ball, decisive in his passing, and didn’t delay attacking moments. That last one? That’s the big one for me. When he’s exercising quick thinking, he is one of RSL’s best players, and it was massive to see that on display, even in a loss.

Loser: Nick Besler

Well, even the best runs of form come to a close, and while that wasn’t what Besler has had recently, it certainly wasn’t bad. And through the first 45 minutes, he was alright. But he was key in RSL’s second-half concession, and that’s a surefire way to end up in this column. Too bad, really.

Loser: Everton Luiz

Upon reflecting on Luiz’s match, I think it is worth considering that he had a poor one. He was out of sync with his teammates (which makes sense, but it’s still not desirable,) and he too often ended up without having a distinct influence on things. I would have hoped to see something more involve from his first start since the season opener. Maybe there’s a balance thing there — that he and Besler both struggled is probably not a coincidence. Maybe they’re not the best midfield pair to play.

Winner: Justen Glad

Keeping Raul Ruidiaz quiet is no mean feat, and for the most part, I think Glad did quite well there. (He couldn’t do anything about the penalty, obviously.) He also helped advance play well, and his passes were generally well-considered. For me, it’s looking pretty clear that Glad has that starting center back spot locked down — so I’ll be really curious if Toni Datkovic displaces Marcelo Silva instead.

Winner: Andrew Brody

This is just for the stop on Ruidiaz when he was open in the box. It was spectacular, and it stopped what could have become a barrage of goals.