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Real Salt Lake at Portland: Report card

By Andrew Reeves

For the Deseret News

Published: Sunday, May 1 2011 6:22 p.m. MDT

Nick Rimando

Rimando, who was the man of the match, did everything he could to keep his team in the match by stopping nine shots on goal, including five from inside the area.

He couldn't do anything about the goal that did score, however. It was poorly marked by RSL and the lazy clearance from Nat Borchers ricocheted off Timbers' forward Kenny Cooper into the back of the net. Grade: A

Chris Wingert

The left back pushed forward more than he usually does and worked well with Javier Morales to create a near goal in the 69th minute. He gave away the ball too cheaply at times, which almost proved costly against the speed of the Timbers. Grade: C+

Nat Borchers

He and the rest of the RSL defense fell asleep and allowed only their second goal in MLS play. A quick restart caught RSL off guard, leaving the central back out of position and he came in late to challenge the cross. Grade: C-

Chris Schuler

He could be considered the lone bright spot for the RSL back line, especially in the second half. His size and length slowed down any counter attacks the Timbers developed often while being the last line of defense for RSL. His distribution from the back impressed as well. Grade B

Tony Beltran

He was more than a little outmatched for speed at the right back and subsequently couldn't push up like he normally does. That being said he did slow down the Timbers' attack down the left side. He needed to be more involved in the attack. Grade: C

Collen Warner

Warner looked to impress on his homecoming to the Portland area but failed to do so. If RSL fell asleep for the first half goal, then Warner was near catatonic. He had his back turned to the play from the beginning, and when he did see Kalif Alhassan breaking down the flank, he barely put up a challenge on the play. Warner didn't see action in the second half. Grade: D

Javier Morales

Should have earned a B, but he also fell asleep on the Timers' goal. He had his back turned to the free kick. The central midfielder was involved in most of RSL scoring chances by providing a number of dangerous services. With the help of Kyle Beckerman, Javi helped RSL dominate possession of the game. Grade: C+

Kyle Beckerman

Before the match Beckerman talked about the importance of keeping up the energy in this game, and in the first half he was the only one that delivered it. The midfield workhorse had a much better second half due in large part to his teammates' second half awakening. Grade: A

Jean Alexandre

Although he never made a bad decision with the ball, the Haitian international failed to become involved in any real significant plays through out the first half. As a result he didn't see any of the second half. Grade: D

Arturo Alvarez

The winger got some time up top and did well when partnered with Alvaro Saborio. Alvarez nearly earned a penalty late in the contest. The problem? He rarely connected with the midfield through out the game. Grade: C-

Alvaro Sabaorio

Sabo has been looking to find his form all season and he didn't find it in Portland. He did draw a majority of the attention from the defense which helped free up Alvarez and the RSL midfield. He never created any real chances for the Claret and Cobalt. Grade: C

Subs

Will Johnson

Johnson entered the contest at the start of the second half and immediately made an impact with his energy. He opened up space by attacking the defense often and set up a breakaway with a brilliant one-touch distribution from the back which ended with Sabo touching the ball just wide of the target. Grade: A

Andy Williams

He seemed a little uncomfortable with speed of the Portland players, but held the ball extremely well and helped RSL control possession in the second half. Grade: C

Ned Grabavoy

The game seemed to change dramatically when he entered the game. Defensively, Portland sat back most of it players, and it didn't matter to him. His control and effort were on point and he did well with what little time he had on the pitch. Grade: B

Overall

The hole that the team dug in the first was too much to get out of in the second. Hopefully Real Salt Lake can remedy the alarming trend of connecting with final third of the field. While RSL dominated possession, it never connected on top. While nine corner kicks are nice, surely an attempt on goal would be better. Grade C+

I have an absolute passion for soccer and a love for all sports. Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Andrew_J_Reeves and on my blog at www.dbeckamreeves.blogspot.com.

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