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RSL vs. Inter Miami: Player Ratings

Who stood out in RSL's 2-0 season opening loss?

RSL vs. Inter Miami: Player Ratings
Lucas Muller | Wasatch Soccer Sentinel

Goalkeeper

Zac MacMath: 6.25

Goalkeeper

Given the attacking talent lining up in opposition, it was rather expected that something of a hero performance would be needed from MacMath in order to secure points. In the end he did face 7 shots, and of course, allowed 2 of those to go in. Pretty average, nothing to see here. His performance is more complicated than mediocre though. Depending on how kind of a soul you are to goalkeepers, one could pose many legitimate questions as to how he failed to save Taylor’s shot in the 39th, which in the scheme of things is potentially the game losing mistake. Still, I think it’s also important to note that he did win two 1v1’s with Suarez and Messi late in the game to prevent things from being a blowout and cause headlines. For me? We’ll leave it mediocre overall. 

WhoScored Rating: 5.7 | SofaScore Rating: 6.5 | FotMob: 5.6

Defenders

Justen Glad: 7.5 (MVP)

Center-back

Justen was by a good margain the busiest member of the back line in this one. Not only did he lead the team in passing accuracy (94%), but also made a number of key interceptions and defensive actions. He potentially saved RSL the distinguished honor of ending up on a Messi freekick highlight reel with a goal line header that MacMath may or may not have reached if called upon. Overall given the amount of Miami attacks he stymied or slowed down, I feel the long-time center-back probably put together the best 90 minute performance of the group.

WhoScored Rating: 7.1 (MVP) | SofaScore Rating: 7.4 (MVP) | FotMob: 6.6

Brayan Vera: 7.0

Center-back

Perhaps it’s a bit strange to reward both center-backs scores above 7 in a two goal loss, but for my tastes Vera had a decent run at this match. While his passing wasn’t nearly as sharp as Glad’s, physically and positionally there wasn’t much to complain about from the second year player. Oddly enough, he was also one of the bright spots on attack for the night, both managing to win a header from a corner, and launching an absolute bullet on frame that caused Callender a few issues to settle. 

WhoScored Rating: 6.5 | SofaScore Rating: 6.9 | FotMob: 6.6

Andrew Brody: 6.5

Left-back

Back on inverted wing back duties until Katranis can clear some visa issues, Brody had a pretty unimpressive first half - but like much of the team - grew into the game in the latter 45. Given he was lining up against a persistent USMNT player in Yedlin, I honestly think Brody did as well as his counterpart in this game. Both players beat each other down the line a few times, and both contributed about the same effort both going forward and running backwards frantically. 

WhoScored Rating: 6.1 | SofaScore Rating: 6.6 | FotMob: 6.5

Emeka Eneli: 6.5

Right-back

It doesn’t surprise me anymore to see Eneli get the starting nod over Bode Hidalgo, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can keep a starting spot in center-mid when Katranis bumps Brody back to right-back. That said, this is about on par from what we’ve come to expect from Emeka in this role. His passing was solid, his effort was solid, but still ends up in awkward situations with regular frequency. You can attribute him getting dribbled past a team leading 3 times on account of being on the same side of the field as Messi, but he pretty consistently got beat in similar numbers for the majority of 2023. 

WhoScored Rating: 6.4 | SofaScore Rating: 6.7 | FotMob: 6.8

Midfielders

Braian Ojeda: 6.75

Center Midfielder

Ojeda managed a team leading 72 touches alongside a very strong 54/58 passing. As he often does, Braian was something of the tempo setter for the team - at least during the periods of the game that RSL was constructing successful possession. He was easily the more productive of the two center-midfielders, and didn’t seem to miss a beat from his play even with Ruiz posted in front of him. Outside of a couple of giveaways that created some very, very scary Miami chances, Ojeda was one of the better players for the Claret and Cobalt in this contest. 

WhoScored Rating: 6.6 | SofaScore Rating: 7.0 | FotMob: 6.9

Nelson Palacio: 6.0

Center Midfielder

We never take too much stock on matchday 1 performances, but Palacio certainly took a step back in his game from how the 2023 campaign ended. Last season Nelson really started showing shades of being a capable defensive minded midfielder, but against attackers with world class attacking sense, he was at times bypassed as if a practice cone in this one. I’m hopeful this is an oddball case of having a tough first game opponent, but it was still rather frustrating seeing how often Miami had possession between the midfield and back line. 

WhoScored Rating: 6.1 | SofaScore Rating: 6.6 | FotMob: 6.3

Forwards

Pablo Ruiz: 6.25

Center Attacking-midfielder

Well, we got to see an Argentine player at the 10, but it certainly wasn’t a show to impress Javier Morales on the Miami coaching bench. For a few years now I’ve been in favor of seeing Ruiz play higher up. You know, more of that creative left foot and playmaking energy, less of watching him try to be a key defender in an important defensive role. I question if 2024 was the right time for this, and off an incredibly small sample size, there is more to be desired. He did play a good number of key passes, easily leading the squad in chances created, but at the downside of being extremely wasteful overall in possession. Let’s hope this shows more promise in the coming weeks.

WhoScored Rating: 6.3 | SofaScore Rating: 7.0 | FotMob: 7.0 (MVP)

Diego Luna: 6.5

Left-winger

Seeing Luna get 47 touches and only acquiring a single key pass from it all is a rather downer stat, really. For the vast majority of the game, Diego was ineffective from a combination of not having anyone but Chicho to outlet to going forward, and dribbling into a good number of impossible situations. I did like that he continued his roaming style, and those central runs gave him his best moments from this match. Still, it was largely for naught, and did little to really help RSL change the flow of the game. Still, compared to the other wing he looked like a 10/10.

WhoScored Rating: 6.8 | SofaScore Rating: 6.5 | FotMob: 6.7

Andrés Gómez: 4.75

Right-winger

I had a lot of hopium that Gómez after a full off-season could level up his game and start growing into the talent we hoped for. Off the mark, we got a whole lot of the same from last season; dribbles to nowhere, poor possession, and general lack of touches/impact. Given a full preseason with the team and entering a sophomore year, fans should be expecting some improvement for this investment, and outside of developing a potential future player, one would think Chang is a better option for results. Expect Julio or Hidalgo to start on the right-wing against St Louis. 

WhoScored Rating: 5.6 | SofaScore Rating: 5.9 | FotMob: 5.1

Chicho Arango: 6.75

Advanced Forward

Chicho has always played with a lot of heart, even rather concerningly throwing himself into some tackles in situations I’d rather him not risk. The dedication is there, and despite having relatively slim picking the whole match, did manage to do a good number of dangerous things. While the finishing was woefully off, the situations and opportunities Arango was working himself into bodes well for future goalscoring. I think it's a bit odd that as a debut Captain he saw the need to scream and show colorful frustration towards teammates at every turn, but hey, maybe that gets this group in the right mindset? 

WhoScored Rating: 6.2 | SofaScore Rating: 7.1 | FotMob: 6.5

Substitutes

Fidel Barajas: 6.5

Center Attacking-midfielder

Fidel was solid on his debut, playing the #10 role and doing a good job on the ball. It was hard to take much from his game with this 20 minute snapshot, but there’s still plenty of reason to be excited from what we did see. 

WhoScored Rating: 5.9 | SofaScore Rating: 6.5 | FotMob: 6.1

Anderson Julio: 6.5

Right-winger/Advanced Forward

Julio also did reasonably well during his stint on the pitch. He collected a good few touches and hit 90% of his passes. Not much to complain about or really highlight for praise. 

WhoScored Rating: 6.0 | SofaScore Rating: 6.6 | FotMob: 6.1

Noah Caliskan: N/A

Center Midfielder

Who had Caliskan getting minutes on their bingo card? I noticed this German DM on the roster the morning before the game, a former Portland product who signed with Real Monarchs (without any announcement to the public) at some point this offseason. It’s unlikely he will carry on in the same manner as Loffelsend, but it was neat to see him debut nonetheless. 

WhoScored Rating: 6.0 | SofaScore Rating: 6.7 | FotMob: 6.2

Bode Hidalgo: N/A

Right-Winger

Only played a few minutes on the pitch, but became perhaps the only ever Utah born and raised player to play against Messi in a competitive game? Fact check me on that one (there’s a first in there somewhere), either way it's an exclusive list. 

WhoScored Rating: 6.2 | SofaScore Rating: 6.6 | FotMob: N/A

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