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Brown bucking for spot in ’08 starting lineup

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Kyle Brown continues to play his way into a 2008 roster spot.

He scored his second goal of the season Saturday night — but more important his second goal in the past five games — to lead Real Salt Lake to a 1-0 victory over rival Colorado.

"He's a player we feel is really started to come into some confidence and really started to come into some form and we've noticed that in training and we've noticed that in the reserve games," said RSL coach Jason Kreis.

When Brown arrived at the stadium a little more than an hour before the match, he was fully expecting to be coming off the bench. The coaches quickly informed him that because of a slight groin injury to teammate Fabian Espindola he would be making his third start of the season.

Brown admitted sometimes being thrust into the starting 11 like that can be a difficult situation, but he said it probably worked out better for him because he didn't have to stress about the game all day.

"I wouldn't say my confidence is at an all-time high, but it is definitely rising and rising as I keep scoring goals and scoring goals in the reserve games," said Brown.

Brown has now scored two league goals in eight games to go along with his five goals and two assists in eight reserve games.

MIXING IT UP: Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis altered his lineup pretty significantly for Saturday's games with the Rapids.

Of the 11 starters, only six were in the starting line-up during Wednesday's 2-2 draw with the L.A. Galaxy at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

The five new starters Saturday were Chris Lancos, Matias Mantilla, Atiba Harris, Kyle Brown and Chris Brown.

The five starters from Wednesday who weren't in the starting 11 against Colorado were Jean-Martial Kipre, Eddie Pope, Carey Talley, Alecko Eskandarian and Robbie Findley.

The decision to keep Talley out of the starting 11 prevented him from earning his 200th career MLS star. He'll have to wait until next Saturday's game at New York to become the 33rd player in league history to accomplish that feat.

BACK IN ACTION: After picking up five yellow cards in his first five MLS starts and being suspended this past Wednesday, Mantilla was back in the starting line-up Saturday. It's a good thing, too. His father and uncle have been visiting from Argentina all week, and they finally got to see him play against the Rapids.

E-mail: jedward@desnews.com