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Crew move to the top of the East with win over RSL

Jul 31, 2011 - 3:08 AM Sandy, UT (Sports Network) - Real Salt Lake suffered a rare home loss at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, falling to the Columbus Crew 2-0.

Some very poor defending early on from Salt Lake, who was missing reigning MLS Defender of the Year Jamison Olave through injury, allowed Columbus to notch both goals within the opening 10 minutes of the game.

Eddie Gaven got the Crew off the mark in the 5th minute. Robbie Rogers broke free on the left wing and slid a ball across the face of goal to find a wide open Gaven, who converted the easy chance to give Columbus the early lead.

The Crew doubled the lead five minute later as Tommy Heinemann headed a cross from Rogers inside the far post and past a diving Nick Rimando.

Real Salt Lake nearly pulled one back in the 23rd minute after Fabian Espindola sent a light chip to the top of the six yard box, but an on-rushing Jean Alexander sailed a right-footed shot over the crossbar.

Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum came up huge in the second half, making several key saves to keep Salt Lake off the board.

Real Salt Lake was left to rue its early defensive mistakes, as it could not conjure any goals.

With the win, the Crew took sole possession of first place in the Eastern Conference after the Philadelphia Union lost to the Colorado Rapids 2-1 Friday night.

Columbus (9-6-7) will return to MLS action on Friday when it travels to Colorado to face the Rapids, while Real Salt Lake (9-4-6) will head to Livestrong Sporting Park to play an in-form Sporting Kansas City.