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Real Salt Lake vs. Columbus Crew report card

Published: Sunday, Aug. 25 2013 12:16 a.m. MDT

Columbus' Danny O'Rourke and RSL's Ned Grabavoy battle for the ball as Real Salt Lake and the Columbus Crew play Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) Columbus' Danny O'Rourke and RSL's Ned Grabavoy battle for the ball as Real Salt Lake and the Columbus Crew play Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

When RSL earned a draw off RSL rookie Cole Grossman's final-minute heroics against Portland at Jeld Wen Field Wednesday night, the momentum was palpable. The boys in Claret and Cobalt had just lost a whopper against Robbie Keane, er L.A., and fans couldn't help but hold their breath that the excellent streak of play for RSL this season might be entering a down patch.

But Jason Kreis' young team knows how critical momentum is going into the final two months of the season, and whether by sheer will, confidence or the blessing of youth, Saturday night belonged to RSL. As it should have, most analysts would say, with Columbus struggling to dig itself out of the Eastern Conference cellar and into the playoff picture.

Real Salt Lake would have none of that on its pitch, though. RSL dominated possession from the opening kick — almost 70 percent for the night — and Javier Morales was superb in the final third, keeping possession and setting up goals. It was his free kick in the 46th minute that led to arguably Kyle Beckerman's easiest goal of his career. RSL poured in three more goals from Devon Sandoval, Luis Gil and Beckerman again against a clearly frustrated Columbus team that continues to spiral out of the playoff picture.

RSL's Olmes Garcia tries to get past Columbus' Chad Marshall on a run down as Real Salt Lake and the Columbus Crew play Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) RSL's Olmes Garcia tries to get past Columbus' Chad Marshall on a run down as Real Salt Lake and the Columbus Crew play Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Here's a look at RSL's grades for its performance against the Crew.

Chris Higbee is the general manager of DeseretNews.com and occasionally writes about Real Salt Lake.

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