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Real Salt Lake, Columbus Crew play to a 1-1 draw

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RSL's reserves battled the Crew's first and secondary squads to earn a 1-1 draw in the final preseason match for the club.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake took to the field for the last preseason match against the 2015 MLS Cup runner-ups Columbus Crew SC. With the season squad scrimmaging against FC Tucson earlier in the day before the CONCACAF Champions League match-up with Liga MX's Tigres UANL next week, RSL decided to employ their youth contingent against an expected Crew first string squad.

The first 15 minutes, both sides looked to move the ball more than create chances. With the ball bouncing around the pitch, RSL showcased their ability to challenge, and more importantly win, the ball in the midfield. Olmes Garcia especially impressed winning many balls and them seamlessly wing swapping to open up space.

The youth put a lot of pressure on the Crew and it ultimately paid off in the 17th minute. On a kick counter attack, RSL was able to get the ball to a wide open Emery Welshman at the top of the box. Jordan Allen, then, took this opportunity to sprint into the box and found the ball at his feet near the penalty spot. Taking it first time, Allen let off a rocket that flew past Crew goalkeeper Steve Clark making it 1-0 RSL.

Real's fortune, however, took a bit of a turn when an attempted switch lead to a change of possession in the 25th minute. Originally intended for Chris Wingert, Ethan Finlay won the ball out of the air and began to sprint towards RSL's 18-yard box so the veteran leftback took the professional foul resulting in a yellow card.

A minute later, the Crew with possession of the ball inside the Claret-and-Cobalt's box converted. After pinging around the box a few times, Waylon Francis curled in a cross to Kei Kamara who headed it home after he nearly jumped over Phanuel Kavita.

The Crew had a couple more chances to score in the 36th and 38th minutes but RSL's backline held firm, especially Kavita ushering out several would-be chances himself, keeping it 1-1 going into halftime.

Out of the locker-room, both RSL and the Crew played aggressively. This bellicose temperament was best summed up in the 51st minute when Gacia earned a yellow card after both he and Tony Tchani challenged hard for possession but the latter came out worse for ware.

Little errors plagued RSL early in the second half as they opted for over-the-top long plays. The result was the Crew piecing together three additional scoring opportunities - including two fast-breaks. The Claret-and-Cobalt would finally answer back, however, in the 58th minute with a change coming off a corner.

In the 62nd minute both sides made substitutions. RSL brought in Amass Amankona for Welshman on the wing while the Black-and-Gold made an entire line change to bring on their reserves.

Both sides created a few chances but neither team could find the back of the net.

Towards the end of the match, Danilo Acosta was subbed off after what appeared to be hamstring tightness which leaves his condition questionable for the CONCACAF match-up.