On Sunday evening, it was back on the pitch for Real Salt Lake against Sporting KC in the Western Conference semifinals of the MLS Cup playoffs. In the beginning, it took over 10 minutes before RSL could even get a shot off against Sporting’s defense. In the first half, there were no goals scored for either team. The second half was a different story. Albert Rusnák struck a magnificent volley in the 52nd minute, but Sporting KC returned the favor in the 61st minute off the foot of Diego Rubio. The match ended in a 1-1 tie, but in the words of coach Mike Petke, “It’s halftime right now, and we have a seven-day halftime.” The second leg continues next Sunday in Kansas City.

Nick Rimando (6) — In the 24th minute, Rimando saved a sure Sporting goal over the crossbar, which was one of his four saves on the evening. However, in the 60th minute, Rimando’s clearance clipped a Sporting KC player, and Diego Rubio was the goal recipient, as Rimando was out of place.

Brooks Lennon (7) — Lennon showed promise on both sides of the pitch. In the 39th minute, his header saved a Sporting KC goal possibility. He also worked hard in the attacking third, as he challenged the Sporting defense to earn a corner in the 67th minute.

Marcelo Silva (6) — Silva started the match but couldn’t finish it. The injury in the first half marred his solid centerback play, as he was instrumental in the backline possession for Real.

Nedum Onuoha (6.5) — Onuoha brought stability to the defensive third, but he got involved in the offensive side, too. His header, in the 90th minute, looked promising, but a better save from Sporting KC’s Tim Melia stopped the chance.

Aaron Herrera (5.5) — The Sunday match wasn’t Herrera’s …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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