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Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders report card

Real Salt Lake stepped on to its home field for the first time in 2016 MLS league play Saturday afternoon where the team struggled for 30 minutes to find much of a rhythm. A 28th minute Oswaldo Alnoso goal put Seattle in the driver's seat, but also seemed to light a fire under RSL. The newfound RSL momentum carried into the 43rd minute when Joao Plata sent a corner into the box and found the head of Sunny Obayan to bring the score even.

The second half saw the game settle into a better rhythm in general for RSL and in the 86th minute Juan Manuel Martinez volleyed a rebound off an Obayan free kick into the 6-yard box where Jamison Olave rose above Seattle keeper Tyler Miller to put away the game winner.

Here are the player grades.

Nick Rimando (GK), 8, had another solid game, with his only mishap being a mishit rebound shot that gave Seattle's Oswaldo Alonso Seattle's first half goal.

Chris Wingert (DEF), 7, did well to match up with Jordan Morris down the right side. Matching physical for physical. Wingert once again proved he's starting material.

Jamison Olave (DEF), 7, struggled with his positioning and passing much of the first half. His second half was more settled, but still lacked some of the patience and positioning RSL needs from the veteran central defender. Good thing he's athletic as all get out. In the 86th minute he rose like a bald eagle to ping a Martinez cross centimeters over Seattle's rising 'keeper, Tyler Miller, to give RSL its second goal.

Aaron Maund (DEF), 7, played a sound game at central defense. He started the game lackluster, but came on stronger in the second half with a much more physical and athletic performance.

Tony Beltran (DEF), 8, was solid against the likes of Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez on defense, and when he was able to push the attack he did well to connect with his attacking players on passes, though some critical crosses could have been better placed.

Sunny Obayan (MID),9, played perhaps his finest game in an RSL uniform so far. He was aggressive on both defense and offense and used his speed and athleticism to his advantage. He showed real savvy bouncing outside off Clint Dempsey in the 43rd minute for his first goal in claret and cobalt.

Jordan Allen (MID), 7, filled in nicely for an injured Javier Morales. He brought speed and directness to the attacking midfield position that is different from that of Morales. Once RSL found its pace, it turned out to be quite potent through the end of the first half. Allen seemed a bit out of sorts much of the second half — either tired or given some direction that he was struggling to implement — and was subbed out in the 82nd minute for Olmes Garcia.

Kyle Beckerman (MID), 8, was very good Saturday and with he and Obayan setting the tone in the midfield, it was clear RSL's slow start would not keep the team from defending its home turf.

Juan Manuel Martinez (FWD), 9, Once again showed why RSL will be a much better team in 2016 than it was in 2015. His creativity and marshalling ability in the attacking half are some of the best in major league soccer, even with the likes of Kaka and Sebastian Giovinco.

Yura Movsysian (FWD), 7, put in a solid effort Saturday afternoon.He played much more of a holdup striker than he has in the past, but he continues to give RSL excellent play up front.

Joao Plata (FWD), 7, didn't score for the first time in three games, but he still played a critical role in giving RSL the win. His corner kick in the 43rd minute proved perfect as Obayan didn't have to take more than a couple of steps to put the ball away with his head.

Olmes Garcia (SUB, 82', FWD), 7, subbed in for Jordan Allen with Plata shifting back to play attacking mid. Garcia used the ten minutes he played to their fullest, providing excellent energy and effort to keep Seattle from mounting much of an attack after Olave's 86th minute goal.

Devon Sandoval (SUB, 90+', FWD) did not play long enough for a grade.

Chris Higbee is a regular contributor to, writing about Soccer and the arts.