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Real Salt Lake report card:RSL's fire-in-the-belly attitude leads to a remarkable win

Published: Sunday, Aug. 2 2015 7:12 p.m. MDT

RSL's Tony Beltran heads the ball away from Portland's Rodney Wallace as Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers play Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. RSL won 4-2. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) RSL's Tony Beltran heads the ball away from Portland's Rodney Wallace as Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers play Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. RSL won 4-2. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

Friday night was the third time Real Salt Lake has played the Portland Timbers in the last 24 days. The Claret and Cobalt last played the Timbers at Jeld Wen Field in Portland Aug. 21, escaping with a 3-3 draw despite going down a man. RSL led the series 1-0-1 going into the match. For a team more than two thirds of the way through the season, RSL appears to have discovered another gear just in time to close out the season.

When many of Major League Soccer's best teams, including Portland, are facing the fitness struggles that often come this time of year, RSL controlled the run of play on its way to a 4-2 win with fitness and a fire-in-the-belly attitude that has fans giddy with excitement as Real Salt Lake makes its way toward the playoffs and a potential Supporter's Shield.

Here's a tactical look at each position group from Friday's victory.

RSL's Carlos Salcedo tries to kick the ball away from Portland's Diego Chara as Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers play Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. RSL won 4-2. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) RSL's Carlos Salcedo tries to kick the ball away from Portland's Diego Chara as Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers play Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. RSL won 4-2. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

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

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