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Real Salt Lake report card

Published: Saturday, April 9 2011 11:19 p.m. MDT

Kyle Reynish: A

Difficult to give the No. 2 keeper a grade when he rarely touched the ball thanks to the four in front of him, but he communicated well with the back line and kept a clean sheet, earning the high mark.

Tony Beltran: A+

His deep runs into the Revs' defense made life easy for his front line and "Beltron's" anticipation at the left back position virtually shut down that side of the pitch for the home team. He impressed most with his composure on the ball and made difficult plays look far too easy.

Rauwshan McKenzie: B

His play with Shuler at central defense was suffocating to say the least. The pair flushed out any trouble that may have entered the area, only allowing three shots from inside the area.

Chris Schuler: A

The big center back used every inch of his 6-foot-4 frame to score on a glancing header when he timed the corner kick from Warner to near perfection, and his defense wasn't small either. Easy A.

Robbie Russell: B

One of two starters from the battle at Saprissa, Russell performed extremely well after three days of rest. That could be why his runs upfield were limited; nevertheless, his imposing presence helped limit the home team's shots-on-goal to just two. The veteran defender made life easy for his man between the posts.

Will Johnson: B+

Would have earned the A had he not been sent off late in the second half, not that anyone would blame him after he was rocked into the boards moments earlier. Still the iron man will now be unavailable for the clash against Colorado in the first game of the Rocky Mountain Cup this coming Wednesday, and after his early free kick tested the Revolution keeper, he will be missed.

Collen Warner: A+

Without Sabo and Espindola up front, it was crucial for the midfield to distribute the ball to the feet of the speedy Alvarez and Paulo Jr., and no one understood this better than Warner. The central midfielder was involved in both of Crimson and Cobalt's goals, and while his corner kick was perfectly placed, it was his assist to Paulo Jr. that was poetry in motion. Man of the Match.

Jean Alexandre: C

Solid C. It was his physical style of play that helped give RSL a lion's share of the possession, but it was that same style of play that gave the opposition two free kicks from dangerous areas. Eventually he committed four fouls and earned a yellow, forcing Coach Kreis to pull him off the pitch.

Ned Grabavoy: A

His first touch was great the whole game, as the right winger put his last performance behind him. It was that "def" touch that created a beautiful strike that struck the post, inches from putting the visitors up. No matter, RSL scored on the ensuing corner kick. Mr Congeniality.

Aruturo Alvarez: A

The newest member of the Crimson and Cobalt created the most chances with four of the team's 10 shots. The dangerous left foot almost scored twice, and the striker rarely made a bad decision with the ball at his feet.

Paulo Jr.: A

He did what all goal scorers do — score. While he was a little hesitant in the first half, pulling the ball back when he could have dove into the area, his second half adjustments were exactly what his side needed. He consistently attacked the goal and earned his second goal for RSL.

Subs:

Kyle Beckerman: A

Came on early in the second half and helped Real take almost complete control of the game. It was too much for New England to handle, as late game frustration escalated and saw three red cards in the final 20 minutes.

Luis Gil: N/A

Entered the contest too late to fairly grade his play, even harder to grade considering the events of the last ten minutes.

Overall Team: A+

Dominating performance away from Rio Tinto where the Crimson and Cobalt's defense held the line, midfield ran like clockwork, and attack was deadly efficient; scoring two goals on 13 tries. What makes this even more impressive was that only two of the game's starters actually start on a regular basis, showing the depth and caliber of the only undefeated team in MLS.

http://twitter.com/Andrew_J_Reeves www.dbeckamreeves.blogspot.com

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