[MONTERREY-REAL SALT LAKE REPORT CARD] Not for lack of effort, Real Salt Lake lost the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League final, 1-0, to Monterrey despite good games by several players and especially defender Jamison Olave and midfielder Will Johnson.
5 Nick Rimando. Collected the few testing crosses and balls over the top that Monterrey put into the goalmouth. Could have stepped out a yard or so to block more of the shooting angle when Monterrey broke through for its goal.
4 Robbie Russell. Knifed into the middle to cut out crosses and passes coming into the center from the opposite side, overpowered opponents with tackles and won several balls. Caught out of position a few times when Monterrey pierced his side, and never got in a tackle as passes were played around him when it scored. Replaced by Tony Beltran at halftime.
6 Jamison Olave. Played a tremendous game in the back and pushed up front in the final minutes to produce knockdowns and second balls as RSL nearly missed a few late chances. Caught flatfooted on Monterrey goal and appeared to give up on the play when Humberto Suazo took an extra touch before shooting inside the near post from close range.
5 Nat Borchers. Strong tackling and confident heading repelled several Monterrey attacks, dropped a bit too deep two or three times and allowed Monterrey shots from medium distance. Stayed back in late stages to protect the goal when Olave joined the push for an equalizer.
5 Chris Wingert. Sharp and active on the left flank, overlapped effectively to reach balls near the corner and drive them into the goalmouth though a few of them cannoned off the nearest opponent. Contained most of the Monterrey attacks that came down his side.
5 Ned Grabavoy. Bottled up Suazo and Neri Cardozo when they came into the middle, forced Monterrey to foul him several times in the middle third as he launched attacks. Drove forward in the second half to nick balls into the goalmouth, took shots that didn’t get through.
6 Will Johnson. Closed space, disrupted Monterrey attacks, won tackles and pushed balls forward to spark the attack. Fired a good shot in the second half that took a deflection wide, mixed it up in the middle third to unbalance the opposition. Drew a few fouls through persistence.
5 Andy Williams. Worked both sides of the right flank, won tackles, stripped opponents in the defensive third. Played OK offensively, made space for himself near the edge of the penalty area in the first half but his shot was blocked. Monterrey repelled most of his crosses though they were often well-struck.
4 Javier Morales. Influential only rarely in the attacking third and seldom found the time and space to provide good service. Corner kicks were adequate though Monterrey got to many of them first and he, like several teammates, took an extra touch when pressure was closing in. Not aggressive enough when a shot was called for.
5 Fabian Espindola. Tremendous work rate and relentless pressure troubled the Monterrey back line numerous times, and a few touches and flicks to put teammates into good spots. But he failed to put a threatening shot on frame. Wasted two great chances in the 11th minute; after forcing a turnover, he fired wide of the far post, and in the second half, while completely unmarked he missed horribly on a wonderful ball from Tony Beltran.
3 Alvaro Saborio. Lack of touch and ideas starved the RSL of a finishing stroke, mistrapped several balls and often passed poorly. Aside from one or two effective balls, just never rose to the occasion and was especially weak challenging for service from Espindola, Morales and Williams.
5 Tony Beltran. Livened up the attack after entering in the second half. Brought energy to the right flank and delivered several good crosses from midfield.
4 Arturo Alvarez. Struggled to contribute offensively on the right side and lost possession too many times. Launched one shot that was blocked and popped up on the left flank in the final minutes to swerve a dangerous cross.
NR Paulo Araujo Jr. Late replacement had only a few minutes and didn’t get a chance to take a crack at goal.