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RSL report card: Salt Lake gets even-keel effort from all four position groups in USOC win

Published: Wednesday, May 29 2013 12:23 a.m. MDT

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Starters: Devon Sandoval, Robbie Findley

Substitutions: Joao Plata for Findley

Tactical shift: Lovel Palmer replaced Sandoval in overtime. Sandoval moved to midfield.

The speedy Findley and the stalwart Sandoval worked extraordinarily hard. Both of the starting strikers covered a lot of ground, executed numerous combination plays, and in the end, came through big time for the home side, particularly Sandoval.

The rookie from New Mexico covered an awful lot of ground, playing not just up top, but frequently dropping back to apply pressure to the midfield. He made several dangerous cuts into the 6-yard box, and one of those cuts finally paid off. His overtime goal gave RSL a lead it wouldn't surrender.

"It felt really good," he said. "I was really happy to score one here in overtime at home. Tonight I felt pretty good with my hold-up play and combining. I probably should have finished one earlier, but overall I'm satisfied."

Findley and Plata contribute in an extraordinarily important way: passing. Indeed, the hidden strength of both of these RSL speed demons is their ability to pass and find the open cutter in critical spaces and at critical times.

If there was one area the forwards lacked, it was the ability to seriously test Atlanta goalkeeper Joe Nasco when given the opportunity. This flaw manifested itself as a result of poor decision-making much more than technical ability.

Grade: B+

Man of the match: Devon Sandoval
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