RSL Starting XI: Sporting KC 11/4/18

WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS, LEG 1: REAL SALT LAKE vs SPORTING KANSAS CITY (NOVEMBER 4, 2018)

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Starting XI: Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon, Nedum Onuoha, Marcelo Silva, Aaron Herrera; Kyle Beckerman, Sunny; Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnák, Joao Plata; Damir Kreilach.

Bench: Andrew Putna, Justen Glad, Danilo Acosta, Nick Besler, Sebastian Saucedo, Corey Baird, Luis Silva.

Starting XI Notes:

GK Nick Rimando (USA/22 caps/39 years old/33 games, 33 starts (484, 484)/13-13-7 (209-163-113), 1.71 GAA/D.C. United) – Started and played 90 minutes, making 6 saves in RSL’s 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  Two-time MLS Cup winner with D.C. United in 2004 and Real Salt Lake in 2009.  Is one of two players, along with Kyle Beckerman, to play in all 22 of Real Salt Lake’s MLS Cup Playoff matches.

RB Brooks Lennon (USA/0 caps/21 years old/33 games, 32 starts (58, 47)/0 goals, 5 assists (3, 9)/Liverpool (England)/HGP) – Started and played 90 minutes, getting the assist on the first goal in RSL’s 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  Tied for second on RSL with 46 tackles and tied for third with 43 interceptions.  His five assists rank third in MLS among players who primarily play as defenders, trailing only Ashley Cole and Graham Zusi.  Best XI and second-leading goal-scorer with four goals and one assist in six matches at 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championships.  Two goals and two assists in five matches at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.  Helped lead the RSL Academy to the 2013 USSDA U-15 Championship.  Has one goal and one assist in five career matches against SKC.

CB Nedum Onuoha (31 years old/2 games, 1 starts (2, 1)/0 goals, 0 assists (0, 0)/Queens Park Rangers (England)) – Started and played 90 minutes in RSL’s 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  Made his first MLS start in a 4-1 win over the New England Revolution on Played the previous 14 seasons in the Premier League and Championship in England with Manchester City, Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers.

CB Marcelo Silva (29 years old/18 games, 18 starts (27, 27)/0 goals, 0 assists (0, 0)/Zaragoza (Spain)) – Started and played 90 minutes in RSL’s 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  Made two consecutive starts to finish the regular season after a foot injury sidelined him for six matches and a groin injury for two more in the previous nine matches.  RSL is 11-6-6 with a 1.22 GAA when he plays 90 minutes since his debut on July 22, 2017 and 9-10-5 with a 1.83 GAA when he does not start or play 90 minutes.  Tied for third on RSL with 43 interceptions.

LB Aaron Herrera (21 years old/16 games, 14 starts (16, 14)/0 goals, 0 assists (0, 0)/University of New Mexico) – Started and played 90 minutes in RSL’s 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  Made 14 consecutive starts at left back to close out the season with RSL going 5-4-5 in those 14 starts.  Made his MLS debut on the road against Seattle Sounders FC in May.  Waited until July 7 in a 2-0 win over FC Dallas for his second appearance.  Started three matches at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

CM Kyle Beckerman (USA/58 caps/36 years old/31 games, 29 starts (463, 432)/1 goal, 1 assist (41, 50)/Colorado Rapids) – Started and played 90 minutes in a 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  Leads RSL and ranks ninth in MLS with 79 tackles.  Ranks second on RSL with 48 interceptions.  Won MLS Cup with Real Salt Lake in 2009 and is one of two players, along with Nick Rimando, to play in all 22 of RSL’s MLS Cup Playoff matches.  With his 50th career assist, he became the 22nd player in MLS history to amass at least 40 goals and 50 assists, joining five former RSL players – Javier Morales, Jason Kreis, Jeff Cunningham, Chris Klein and Clint Mathis on that list.  Has two goals and three assists in 32 matches against SKC in his career.

CM Sunny (Nigeria/1 cap/30 years old/22 games, 15 starts (58, 48)/0 goals, 1 assist (1, 3)/Alanyaspor (Turkey)) – Came off the bench and played 8 minutes in a 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  RSL is 7-5-3 in his 15 starts and 11-6-5 in his 22 appearances.  Tied for second on RSL in tackles with 46.

RW Jefferson Savarino (Venezuela/3 caps/21 years old/32 games, 32 starts (54, 51)/7 goals, 11 assists (13, 16)/Zulia (Venezuela)/DP) – Started and played 82 minutes in RSL’s 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  His shot deflected in for the game-winner in the 69th minute.  Ranks third in MLS and first on RSL with 78 dribbles completed.  Also RSL’s most-fouled player, winning 70 fouls this season (ranking tenth in MLS).  Ranks third on RSL with 49 chances created.  Had one goal and one assist in two matches against SKC this season.

CAM Albert Rusnák (Slovakia/15 caps, 3 goals/24 years old/31 games, 29 starts (61, 58)/10 goals, 7 assists (17, 21)/FC Groningen (Holland)/DP) – Started and played 89 minutes in RSL’s 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  Scored all three of his international goals this year with Slovakia.  Leads RSL and ranks ninth in MLS with 76 chances created.  Last year led MLS in chances created from open play and primary assists.

LW Joao Plata (Ecuador/5 caps, 2 goals/26 years old/25 games, 20 starts (194, 163)/8 goals, 8 assists (48, 48)/Toronto FC/TAM) – Came off the bench and played 31 minutes in a 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  Ranks second on RSL with 57 chances created.  Has one goal and three assists in 11 matches against SKC in his career.

FW Damir Kreilach (29 years old/33 games, 31 starts (33, 31)/12 goals, 8 assists (12, 8)/Union Berlin (Germany)/TAM) – Scored two goals and set up the third in a 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  Ranks second on the team in fouls won with 47 and fifth in tackles with 43.  Was captain at both of his previous clubs – Union Berlin in Germany and Rijeka in Croatia.  Assisted on the game-winning goal against SKC on July 4 this season.

Bench Notes:

GK Andrew Putna (24 years old/2 games, 1 start (2, 1)/1-0-0 (1-0-0), 0.67 GAA/Real Monarchs) – Signed with RSL in July.  Made his first MLS start on Saturday, making two saves and earning a 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo.  Made his MLS debut last Wednesday, coming on at halftime in place of the injured Nick Rimando.  Made four saves while allowing no goals in the final 45 minutes against LAFC.  Has allowed three goals in two matches with Real Monarchs SLC this season, giving him six appearances in two seasons with the USL club.  Earned two clean sheets with the Monarchs last season.

DF Nick Besler (25 years old/22 games, 15 starts (22, 15)/1 goal, 0 assists (1, 0)/Real Monarchs) – Of his 15 starts, 13 came as a center back and two in the midfield.  RSL won both of his starts in midfield – at Houston on August 18 and at home against New England on October 18.  He scored his first MLS goal against New England on October 18.  Won the 2013 College Cup with Notre Dame.

DF Justen Glad (USA/0 caps/21 years old/32 games, 32 starts (85, 83)/0 goals, 0 assists (2, 1)/RSL Academy/HGP) – Came off the bench for the final minute of RSL’s 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  Had a streak of 50 consecutive starts, dating back to last season.  RSL was 21-17-11 in that stretch.  Ranks second in MLS with 92 interceptions.  Also ranks fourth in MLS with 27 blocks.  Tied for second on the team with 46 tackles.  Helped lead the RSL Academy to the 2013 USSDA U-15 Championship.  Started in two of his four appearances, logging one goal and one assist at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.  Started all six matches in helping the U.S. to the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championships, earning Best XI honors.

DF Danilo Acosta (20 years old/12 games, 10 starts (29, 26)/0 goals, 2 assists (0, 4)/Real Salt Lake Academy/HGP) – Started five matches and scored the title-winning penalty at the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championships.  Started five matches at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

FW Sebastian Saucedo (21 years old/28 games, 10 starts (57, 16)/3 goals, 5 assists (3, 7)/Real Salt Lake Academy) – Appeared off the bench in 11 of the final 14 matches, also starting in two other matches in that stretch.  Had two goals in four appearances in the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championships and one assist in three appearances at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup.  Helped lead the RSL Academy to the 2013 USSDA U-15 Championship.  Scored one goal in his lone appearance against SKC this season.

FW Corey Baird (22 years old/31 games, 21 starts (31, 21)/8 goals, 5 assists (8, 5)/Stanford/HGP) – Started and played 59 minutes in RSL’s 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  Led all MLS rookies in scoring with eight goals, including goals in two of his final three starts.  Had one goal and seven assists in 15 NCAA tournament games to lead Stanford to three straight College Cup championships from 2015-2017.  Scored two goals this season in two matches against SKC.

FW Luis Silva (29 years old/19 games, 9 starts (157, 108)/5 goals, 0 assists (32, 16)/Tigres (Mexico)) – His last three goals have come in a substitute role, including stoppage-time goals in back-to-back home wins over Sporting Kansas City and FC Dallas in July.  Scored one goal in his lone appearance against SKC this season.  Has three goals and two assists in 11 career matches against SKC.

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