Sandy • When it comes to soccer, a manager has little control once the players walk onto the field.

"Once the whistle blows, it's out of your hands," as Real Salt Lake coach Mike Petke put it. "You are fired and re-signed by the players on the field, with just a flip of a coin depending on how it happens."

But there is one way a coach can still leave his mark: substitutions. And RSL assistant coach Freddy Juarez, who filled in for the suspended Petke on Saturday night, made two big decisions when he tried to do that in his team's 2-2 draw with the Columbus Crew. With the game tied in the second half, Juarez subbed off two of RSL's most dynamic attacking weapons, Joao Plata and Jefferson Savarino, both of whom were goal-scorers on the night.

The reason?

"More energy," Juarez said. "We wanted to continue to put the pedal on the gas and the foot on the pedal and get forward, and also we can't forget that we have got to defend at times as well, so we wanted to make sure the guys who are subbed out put in a good shift. We want to make sure that the guys that came in could continue to go forward but also make sure they were helping getting in the box to help us defend as well because Columbus is a good team on the break, and we wanted to make sure we neutralized that with some fresh legs."

The coach took Savarino off in the 68th minute. Then he took Plata off in the 82nd. In their places, he went with Brooks Lennon and Sebastian Saucedo.

"He told me to bring some energy and make some runs from behind," Lennon said. "We needed to penetrate the space they were giving us. That's what I tried to do coming on there and we created some chances but we were unlucky not to get the win."

Lennon said RSL needs to capitalize better on its advantages, especially late in games.

"Them coming here and experiencing altitude, I think the last 15 minutes is ours for the taking," he said. "That's our advantage when teams come here. We just have to keep going and attacking and get goals. I think whoever comes on in the second half, the last fifteen minutes of the second half should always be ours."

Juarez's substitutes couldn't find a way to win the game, but the coach felt justified in his choices.

"It would have been great if one of them had an assist or a goal," Juarez said, "but Brooks added some pace and scared them a couple of times. Sebastian got to the end line and caused some havoc."