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RSL player ratings: Corey Baird shines in 1-1 draw at Sporting KC

Real Salt Lake forward Corey Baird, right, scores a goal while covered by Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler, left, during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Kansas City, Kan., Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Real Salt Lake forward Corey Baird, right, scores a goal while covered by Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler, left, during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Kansas City, Kan., Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Orlin Wagner, AP

On Sunday afternoon, Real Salt Lake matched up against Sporting Kansas City. Looking for 3 points on the road, Real scored early in this one.

Jefferson Savarino played a sensational ball to Corey Baird that found the back of the net in the ninth minute. The 1-0 score held true for Real into halftime but in the 52nd minute, Sporting KC scored a header from defenseman Ikenna Ike Opara to even the match. Even the match stayed in a 1-1 tie.

Nick Rimando (7) – Rimando played a clean sheet until his indecisiveness got the best of him in the 52nd minute. Instead of knocking the corner kick out of the box, he decided to back up late, and the header sailed right over his outstretched arms. Ultimately, Rimando let one goal past him, but he had six saves.

Aaron Herrera (7) – This was one of the best games of the season for the American. Herrera protected his side of the pitch to perfection and pushed ahead when offensive opportunities were present.

Justen Glad (7) – Glad continues to make Real fans glad he’s playing center back. Can you imagine how good this kid will be? Remember that he is still 21-years-old.

Nick Besler (6.5) – Besler’s centerback work was solid, especially with 20 shot attempts coming from Sporting KC. He will need to continue to find ways to clear the ball out to avoid further issues.

Brooks Lennon (5.5) – Lennon struggled to protect in the defensive third, as well as push the ball forward to the attacking third. The question may still remain if Lennon is thriving or not in how Petke is using him.

Kyle Beckerman (7) – The best midfielder on the evening was Beckerman. The team captain accurately moved the ball around and gave Real some quality scoring opportunities.

Sunny (6) – It was shocking that Sunny and company didn’t control time of possession, but it wasn’t by much, fortunately. However, Sunny looked shaky pushing the ball up to the attacking third.

Damir Kreilach (5) – It was unfortunate that Kreilach couldn’t match up with Opara on the header goal. The only thing worse was Kreilach’s inconsistencies playing in the midfield alongside Beckerman and Sunny.

Corey Baird (7.5) – The rookie struck gold again for Real. It will be hard to keep him off the pitch moving forward.

Joao Plata (6.5) – It wasn’t like Plata played poorly, but he had only two shots that were both blocked. More creativity was needed here for Plata and Real to find success in the last three matches of the season.

Jefferson Savarino (7) – A beautiful ball from Savarino helped Real score the only goal against Sporting KC. With two quality shot attempts, Savarino was splendid all 90-plus minutes.

Substitutes

Albert Rusnák (5) – The Slovakian entered the match in the 61st minute for Kreilach. Rusnák didn’t make much of an impact, with zero shots. After the match, news broke that Rusnák signed the most lucrative deal in club history.

Nedum Onuoha (N/A) – In the 88th minute, Onuoha took the pitch, for the first time with RSL, in place of Plata.

Shawn Maurice Barry (N/A) – Barry subbed in for Besler in the 90th minute.