Real Monarchs managed a draw against Vancouver Whitecaps 2 with some late goalscoring from Lucas Baldin, and it was one of the better performances we've seen from the team.
Lalo Fernandez: 7.5. Perhaps the goalkeeper could have done better with the two goals or with organizing his defense, but he made some top-class saves as well. We really can't hoist much blame for either goal on him, but there's got to be something improving at some point.
Tyler Arnone: 7.5. Arnone pushed very high up the field in the second half and still got back to defend a breakaway — it wasn't just speed that made the difference. It was commitment, and Arnone had buckets of it.
Lennon Celestino: 5.5. Center back is clearly not Celestino's specialty. He's normally a defensive midfielder, but with Emilio Orozco out with a red card, he dropped into that defensive role. He did that last match with Phanuel Kavita out, too — and to be fair, he has some of the right attributes, but he has a long way to go if he's going to be a full-time defensive player.
Phanuel Kavita: 6.5. It's hard to judge a center back when his partner is making some crucial mistakes, but Kavita wasn't awful. He's generally good on the ball, reads the game well, and is in control of his side.
Riley McGovern: 8. If I told you a lanky, awkward-looking left back spent part of the second half dribbling through traffic against Vancouver, would you believe me? McGovern has been a surprise — he's not just a good defensive left back, but he's a good attacking left back, too.
Fito Ovalle: 7. Let's be honest: Not too much of the Vancouver attack focused on going through the center, and that left Ovalle without too much to worry about in that regard. He's looked better basically every game, and this game saw him add some cheeky shots from distance to his game.
Lucas Baldin: 8.5. This score is about much more than his late winning goal. Lucas Baldin was solid all night, controlling the midfield and keeping things ticking over. Sure, he could have done better on a free kick or two, and maybe Saucedo's a better option for those. But he's been magnificent to watch, and his commitment to finding that last goal is noteworthy.
Ricardo Velazco: 7. Despite coming off in the second half with some sort of muscular issue, Velazco's willingness to run and sacrifice for the team speaks volumes. With a bit more work, he'll be scoring goals and pulling down assists — but until then, he's contributing very well to the side.
Sebastian Saucedo: 8. It's hard to know whether the team needs to adjust to Sebastian Saucedo or if he needs to adjust to the team, but once that happens, he'll be unstoppable — but by that time, he'll probably be full-time with Real Salt Lake. His cross for the last goal of the game was his best moment, and the cross in the build-up to the first was beautiful, too. He showed plenty of sparky creativity throughout, but he still somehow doesn't look at his best. That's probably a good thing.
Maikon Orellana: 7.5. Orellana's adjustment time to this team has been an interesting thing to watch, because he was thrust into the lineup immediately after he signed, then had to wait for his chance again. He's done that well, and rising up for the knock-down header to Rauhofer showed some excellent understanding.
Max Rauhofer: 8. This guy is a pure goalscorer, which is a little funny because his goalscoring records before coming to Real Monarchs weren't all that great — but he's found his feet very quickly for this team, and his goals have been very well-taken. But if he were a more natural goalscorer, he'd probably have had one or two more. That's not a knock on him, but a reminder that he's working hard for every goal. If this continues, it's hard to imagine he can't become that natural goalscorer.