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San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake | MLS Match Preview

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES vs REAL SALT LAKE
BUCK SHAW STADIUM, Santa Clara, Calif.
March 15, 2013 (WEEK 2, MLS Game #14)
7:30 p.m. PT (CSN-CA; KTVA-ABC)

Two teams coming off quality results meet when the San Jose Earthquakes make their 2014 league debut when they take on Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes started off their competitive campaign at midweek with a last-gasp draw against Toluca of Mexico in the CONCACAF Champions League. Real opened their new season in dramatic fashion with a 1-0 win last weekend at the LA Galaxy.

DOWNLOAD COMPLETE GAME GUIDE (PDF)

REFEREE: Jorge Luna. SAR (bench): Eugene Mednikov; JAR (opposite): Pedro Trejo; 4th: Miguel Panduro
MLS Career: 1 game; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 0; pens: 0

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (19 meetings): Earthquakes 7 wins, 26 goals … Real 7 wins, 28 goals … Ties 5
AT SAN JOSE (9 meetings): Earthquakes 4 wins, 17 goals … Real 4 wins, 13 goals … Ties 1
RETURN MATCHES: 8/30: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m. PT; 10/11: Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 7:30 p.m. MT

LAST YEAR (MLS):
3/3: SJ 0, RSL 2 (Saborio 71, 85)
6/1: RSL 3, SJ 0 (Morales 16; Grabavoy 33; Findley 38)
9/21: RSL 1, SJ 2 (Morales 19 – Lenhart 18, 21)

  • Each team won on the other’s home ground a year ago, Real winning the lone meeting 2-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium on March 3.
  • The Quakes have won at Rio Tinto Stadium each of the last two seasons, including a 2-1 victory last Sept. 21.
  • Coaches record: Mark Watson vs. RSL: P1 W1 L0 D0 … Jeff Cassar vs. SJ: first game

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
A year removed from winning the Supporters’ Shield as the league’s best team over the regular season, the San Jose Earthquakes are looking to return to the MLS Cup Playoffs this year. Mark Watson returns for his first full season as head coach, having taken over the club midway through last year and missing out on the postseason only on goals scored.

TEAM NEWS

  • The Earthquakes began the competitive portion of their 2014 campaign in dramatic, getting a goal from Alan Gordon five minutes deep into stoppage time to earn a 1-1 draw with Toluca of Mexico in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series on Tuesday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium.
  • Here’s the Quakes team: Jon Busch, Brandon Barklage, Victor Bernardez, Jason Hernandez (JJ Koval 73), Jordan Stewart, Cordell Cato (Atiba Harris 86), Sam Cronin (Alan Gordon 73), Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Shea Salinas, Chris Wondolowski, Steven Lenhart.
  • “We’re playing against a very good team tonight. They possessed the ball well, they have technical players, so we knew it was going to be a challenge,” said Quakes head coach Mark Watson. “We knew that we were going to have to take the opportunities that we created. It was just one of those nights. I felt bad for the guys because I thought we deserved more.”
  • The Quakes extended their home undefeated streak to 20 games in all competitions. The second leg will be played March 19 at Estadio Nemesio Diaz in Toluca.
  • “He had offseason surgery so he got started late and he’s still not fully match fit, but Alan’s the type of guy who can join the game at any moment and have an impact,” Watson said of Gordon. “He did just that tonight. He’s a strong player, holds the ball up well, he’s smart, and allows us to attack the final third. I thought he had a great impact on the game when he came on.”
  • The Quakes wrapped up their preseason schedule with a 2-0 win against Sacramento Republic FC on March 5, behind two late goals by JJ Koval (86) and Billy Schuler (91+).
  • Here’s the Quakes team: Jon Busch (David Bingham 81), Brandon Barklage (Brian Niel 71), Jason Hernandez (Joe Sofia 71), Clarence Goodson (Ty Harden 71), Jordan Stewart (Shaun Francis 71), Cordell Cato (Sam Garza 71), Sam Cronin (Khari Stephenson 71), Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (JJ Koval 71), Atiba Harris (Walter Martinez 71), Chris Wondolowski (Billy Schuler 71), Adam Jahn (Alan Gordon 71).
  • The Quakes also competed in the Rose City Invitational in Portland, recording a pair of 1-0 victories and a draw, defeating the host Timbers and Jamaica’s Portmore United.
  • “Our defensive stability has been really good,” Watson said. “The team’s carried it over from last year, in terms of just being tough to break down and really organized. There’s been some really good performances in that regard. But there’s still things we’re working on ñ a little bit of movement stuff and just trying to get the ball to good areas where we can attack the final third.”
  • The Quakes had a very active winter, signing midfielders Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi and Yannick Djalo and German fullback Andreas Gorlitz.
  • “From a big-picture [standpoint], it’s a good piece,” Quakes GM John Doyle said of Djalo. “It’s a bigger piece than some of the [other] pieces, I’d say. We’re excited to bring in a player of his caliber, his ability on the field, his resume. And then you go to his age. Iím cognizant of [the risks of] bringing in older players that are past it. The two this year, [28-year-old French midfielder Jean-Baptiste] Pierazzi and Yannick, they’re definitely not past their prime. They’re right in their prime. That’s exciting.”

OFFSEASON TRANSACTIONS

IN: MF Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (1/7/14 - Discovery); FW Atiba Harris (1/7/14 - trade from Colorado); FW Billy Schuler (1/14/14- weighted lottery); MF Tommy Thompson (1/17/14 - Homegrown); DF Shaun Francis (1/24/14 - Re-Entry Stage 2); DF Brandon Barklage (1/24/14 - Re-Entry Stage 2); GK Bryan Meredith (1/24/14 - free); MF J.J. Koval (2/19/14 - SuperDraft); DF Andreas Gorlitz (3/4/14 - free): MF Yannick Djalo (3/10/14 ñ loan from SL Benfica); MF Khari Stephenson (3/12/14 ñ free)

OUT: MF Ramiro Corrales (11/22/13 - retired); DF Nana Attakora (11/22/13 - option declined); DF Dan Gargan (11/22/13 - option declined); FW Marcus Tracy (11/22/13 - option declined); GK Evan Newton (11/22/13 - option declined); DF Peter McGlynn (11/22/13 - option declined); FW Cesar Diaz Pizarro (11/22/13 - option declined); MF Mehdi Ballouchy (12/9/13 - out of contract); DF Justin Morrow (12/17/13 - traded to Toronto FC); MF Rafael Baca (12/23/13 - transferred to Cruz Azul); MF Jaime Alas (12/31/13 - loan expired); MF Marvin Ch·vez (1/7/14 - traded to Colorado); DF Steven Beitashour (1/27/14 - traded to Vancouver); GK David Bingham (2/27/14 - loaned to San Antonio); MF Sam Garza (2/27/14 - loaned to San Antonio)

REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake once again opened their season with a big away win, this time getting late heroics for a 1-0 victory against the LA Galaxy at StubHub Center. RSL are one of five teams tied atop the Western Conference with 3 points from 1 match.

LAST MATCH

  • The game's lone goal came in the 80th minute. Kyle Beckerman found Joao Plata all alone at the penalty spot with a through ball, and he finished easily past Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
  • Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando then saved the victory in stoppage time. After a Galaxy striker Rob Friend went down over Tony Beltran while leaping for a cross, referee Javier Santos pointed to the spot. But Rimando dived to deny Robbie Keane's spot kick to preserve the full three points.
  • RSL head coach Jeff Cassar did not have a single newcomer to the club in his first team after taking charge of the club in the offseason.
  • REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Aaron Maund, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Luis Gil (Luke Mulholland 66), Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy - Javier Morales (Cole Grossman 78) - Joao Plata (Jordan Allen 89), Alvaro Saborio.

TEAM NEWS

  • Real Salt Lake opened their season with a victory for a fifth consecutive year ñ and for the second time in three seasons with a win at the LA Galaxy.
  • Jeff Cassar earned his first career victory as an MLS head coach, the first Real Salt Lake coach to win on his debut (Jason Kreis and John Ellinger both tied in their debuts).
  • Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando against provided penalty-kick heroics to seal the win, stopping Robbie Keane’s spot kick in stoppage time. Of 61 penalty kicks Rimando has faced all-time in league play, 20 have been saved or missed – by the far the most of any goalkeeper in MLS history.
  • “He was controlling the ball, didn't give up rebounds, was unbelievable in the air. This is not an easy team to play against when they are getting service into the box and then obviously the penalty kick save was amazing, but that is Nick, he is that guy,” said Cassar.
  • “Every goalkeeper has their way of saving PKs, and I guess I have mine too,” Rimando said. Added Kyle Beckerman: “If you watch him, he doesn't budge. Keane's all about waiting for the goalie to kind of move a little and then he goes the other way. And Nick didn't budge.”
  • With Chris Schuler out following offseason foot surgery, Aaron Maund started in central defense. Schuler could be in contention to regain his place for the San Jose match.
  • “Everyone's moving forward on their injuries … [Schuler] is probably further along than all of them,” Cassar said. “He's now challenging for traveling and a starting spot. I can't imagine he's going to start against San Jose, but you never know.”
  • Joao Plata opened his 2014 account with the lone goal of the match. He has now scored in back-to-back league matches, having netted in the season-ending win against Chivas USA last year.
  • “He was really threatening a lot of the time, but he was even controlling the ball and making good decision in transition, he was fantastic,” said Cassar. Added Javier Morales: "He is young and learning a lot, from the last year I see a lot of difference, he has improved on a lot of things. Now I am happy for him because I think he deserved the goal, he works hard out there."