RSL Starting XI: @ Sporting KC 11/11/18

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WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS, LEG 2:
REAL SALT LAKE at SPORTING KANSAS CITY (NOVEMBER 11, 2018)

Starting XI: Nick Rimando; Brooks Lennon, Nedum Onuohu, Nick Besler, Aaron Herrera; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland; Jefferson Savarino, Damir Kreilach, Joao Plata; Luis Silva.

Bench: Andrew Putna, Justen Glad, Danilo Acosta, Tony Beltran, Pablo Ruiz, Sunny, Sebastian Saucedo.

- MF Albert Rusnák is unavailable due to yellow card accumulation.  DF Marcelo Silva suffered an adductor strain in the first leg against Sporting Kansas City.

- RSL won all three matches Rusnák missed this season – 2-1 vs. Houston on May 30, 2-0 vs. Seattle on June 2 and 4-1 vs. New England on October 18.  In those three matches, RSL has spread out the scoring load - Sebastian Saucedo (1 goal, 3 assists), Luis Silva (2 goals), Damir Kreilach (1 goal, 3 assist), Corey Baird (2 goals, 1 assist), Kyle Beckerman (1 goal), Brooks Lennon (1 assist), Nick Besler (1 goal), Luke Mulholland (1 assist), Nedum Onuoha (1 assist)

- FW Corey Baird was ruled out due to concussion protocol.  He scored eight goals with five assists en route to winning the 2018 AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year Award.

- DF Tony Beltran is making his first appearance in the 18-man roster since suffering a knee injury on October 15, 2017 against the Colorado Rapids.

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) – Made 6 saves in RSL’s 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  Made four saves in a 1-1 draw in leg one against Sporting Kansas City in the first leg of the semifinals.  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 24 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.  Played 90 minutes in RSL’s 1-1 draw in the first leg against Sporting Kansas City.  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 Onuohu (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 both of RSL’s playoff matches thus far.  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 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.

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 both of RSL’s playoff matches thus far.  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 24 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 Luke Mulholland (30 years old/2 games, 1 start (122, 97)/0 goals, 1 assist (16, 16)/Tampa Bay Rowdies) – Started and played 90 minutes in RSL’s 3-2 win over LAFC in the Knockout Round.  Made his first start of the season on October 18 in a 4-1 win over New England.  Made his only appearance off the bench in a 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on March 17.  Had back surgery on May 21.  Averaged 30 appearances and 2,073 minutes over his previous four MLS seasons.  Previously won back-to-back NASL titles with NSC Minnesota in 2011 and the Tampa Bay Rowdies in 2012.  Has one goal in 10 career regular season matches against KC.

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.  Started and played 87 minutes in the first leg against SKC.  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 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.  Assisted on Albert Rusnák’s goal in a 1-1 draw in the first leg against SKC.  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.

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.  Started and played 77 minutes in the first leg against SKC.  Has one goal and one assist in seven career playoff matches, including one assist on the run to the MLS Cup final in 2013.  Ranks second on RSL with 57 chances created.  Has one goal and three assists in 11 matches against SKC in his career.

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.

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 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.

DF Tony Beltran (USA/3 caps/31 years old/0 games, 0 starts (245, 230)/0 goals, 0 assists (1, 12)/UCLA) – Missed the entire regular season after undergoing knee surgery in the off-season.  Has 13 career playoff appearances, all with RSL, including one with the 2009 MLS Cup-winning team and five in the run to the MLS Cup final in 2013.

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.  Came off the bench and replaced Marcelo Silva (adductor strain), playing 49 minutes in the first leg against Sporting KC.  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.

MF Pablo Ruiz (Argentina/Chile/0 caps/19 years old/12 games, 5 starts (12, 5)/0 goals, 0 assists (0, 0)/San Luis (Chile)) – Last appeared off the bench in a 4-1 win over the New England Revolution on October 18.

 

MF 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.  Started and played 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw in the first leg against SKC.  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.

 

FW Sebastian Saucedo (21 years old/28 games, 10 starts (57, 16)/3 goals, 5 assists (3, 7)/Real Salt Lake Academy) – Came off the bench and played three minutes in the first leg against Kansas City.  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.

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