Crew move to the top of the East with win over RSLJul 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.
- Columbus earns draw with RSL at Rio Tinto Jun 28
- Columbus hits the road to face RSL Jun 26
- Kamara leads the way as Columbus edges New England Jun 24
- New York halts losing skid against nine-man RSL Jun 24
- Revs, Crew SC tangle at MAPFRE Stadium Jun 23
- RSL tries to pile more misery on RBNY Jun 23
- Garcia leaves it late as RSL edges SKC Jun 22
- RSL tries to slow streaking Sporting Jun 19
- Higuain helps Crew SC draw Galaxy Jun 13
- Crew SC, Galaxy square off at Mapfre Stadium Jun 12
- Montreal holds off Crew for first road win Jun 6
- Rocky Mountain rivals meet up as Rapids face RSL Jun 5