Controversies abound, tempers flare as RSL take 4-0 win
SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake beat San Jose at home in decisive fashion on Saturday night, thanks largely in part to a two-goal performance by Álvaro Saborío. But it wasn’t the 4-0 score line so much as a couple of controversies that got RSL there that stood out as topics of conversation after the match.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
First, San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch made a beeline to the RSL bench after the final whistle pointing at Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis and trying to get a point across before ducking down the player tunnel. What was said is still unclear, but Kreis responded in animated fashion, yelling down the tunnel and trying to make his way after Busch while being restrained by defender Chris Wingert.
“Obviously Jon came and said something about my team,” said Kreis after cooling down a bit, “a comment that I didn’t much appreciate, and then walked away very quickly before he gave me a chance to respond. And so I felt it very necessary that he should hear my response.”
It’s pretty likely that Busch was referring to the other controversy on the night, a penalty kick call in the 61st minute that led to a red card ejection for San Jose defender Bobby Burling and RSL’s first goal of the night. Saborío found himself sandwiched between Burling cutting across in front of him and Brad Ring crossing behind him.
The initial replay wasn’t extremely clear but doesn’t show much contact. However, Saborío responded as if his foot was clipped and went down earning the call.
“It was a PK,” said Saborío without further elaboration.
Added RSL captain Kyle Beckerman, “I was pretty far away, but from what I saw, it seemed that there was some contact. I don’t make the calls, but I was glad that it happened.”
The call was reminiscent of two penalty kick calls from earlier in the year that went against RSL — the most notable a late call that awarded Charlie Davies a penalty on a play that appeared to be a dive.
“I haven’t seen it at all,” said Kreis, of the Saborío penalty. “I think I would be a bit of a hypocrite if I look at the film and see that Sabo embellished it and dove — I would be a bit of a hypocrite if I didn’t speak to Sabo myself. I was pretty clear in my admonishment of Charlie Davies on that play, and so if it’s my player I think it’s my responsibility to speak to my player and say, ‘I don’t like that.’”
All of this drama overshadowed the brace by Saborío, who appears to be returning to his form of a season ago.
“For me, Álvaro has looked like a different player since he’s gotten back from the Gold Cup,” lauded Kreis. “For me, his play since he’s been back has been fantastic.”
Said Saborío, “I’m happy to get goals. I have to continue like that. I feel good. I feel healthy. I think that the rest of the season should continue like that.”
The Costa Rican international also tipped his hat to his teammate on the front line, Fabián Espíndola.
“It’s good to play with him,” said Saborío. “He’s a good forward and a good player. He gives you a lot of confidence, and he makes a lot of good runs, and a lot of good passes, and scores goals.”