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Sunny Earns Team of the Week Honors

Real Salt Lake was back in the win column on Saturday and with the 1-0 victory to end a four-game winning streak for the Philadelphia Union came plaudits for RSL’s performance.

Midfielder Sunny was named to’s Team of the Week after his standout performance in the midfield, slowing what had been a potent Philadelphia midfield in recent weeks.  He finished the match with four tackles while completing 83-percent of his passes to earn RSL’s second victory in the last three matches.  Stepping into the role typically occupied by captain Kyle Beckerman, Sunny played one of his better matches since signing with the club prior to the 2016 season.

“We have done a lot of talking about that with Sunny this week and he did exactly what I expected,” RSL Head Coach Mike Petke said.  “He was there to break things up he was concentrating on the number ten and playing simple when he had the ball and playing forward.  It is not a luxurious job that they play the six, it is the unsung hero type of role, and Sunny stepped up today and he was huge for us.”

His teammates saw his importance in the match too.

“Sunny has been very good for us this year.  His consistency in keeping the ball and moving it from side to side and always being an option for the backline; it’s important to have your six always being an out right there,” defender Tony Beltran said.  “He and Luke worked tirelessly to break up plays and you see that.  It helps us tremendously and is a big boost to the backline as well.”

Added Albert Rusnák, “He broke down every single attack that they had and he was really strong. He was connecting passes really well. He was that connection between the defenders and the attackers you know. A great performance from Sunny today.”

Among the players selected were goalkeeper Bill Hamid (DC United); defenders Kortne Ford (Colorado Rapids), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United) and Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire); midfielders Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United), Victor Vazquez (Toronto FC), Joao Pedro (LA Galaxy) and Romain Alessandrini (LA Galaxy); and forward Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy).

In addition, RSL forward Joao Plata was on the bench in Team of the Week after scoring his first goal of the season.

For more on this week’s selections, click here.

Team of the Week
Week 4: Matt VanOekel
Week 6: Albert Rusnák and Yura Movsisyan
Week 7: Mike Petke
Week 13: Sunny