SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake showed glimpses of their potent attack against a shorthanded San Jose Earthquakes squad at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night, coming away with a 4-0 victory. All four scores came in the second half when the game opened up after a controversial red card gave RSL a penalty and reduced the Quakes to 10 men.
It was the 62nd minute that proved to be pivotal in a match mostly controlled by the home team to that point. RSL forward Álvaro Saborío broke away from midfielder Brad Ring and charged into the area, where he tried to slip past San Jose defender Bobby Burling.
The Costa Rican striker headed for goal, then went down at the edge of the box under what replays showed to be little to no contact. Nonetheless, Burling was shown a red card for his efforts and Saborío was awarded the penalty kick which he converted to give RSL the 1-0 lead.
After that, the floodgates opened. Saborío added another for the brace in the 75th minute. Former Earthquakes midfielder Ned Grabavoy put a curling ball on frame, which San Jose ‘keeper Jon Busch could not control. Saborío was there for the rebound, and easily slid it into the back of the net.
Just a few minutes later, RSL struck again. As Saborío took a shot near the penalty spot, teammate Collen Warner got in the way of it, but the ball found its way to the feet of Kyle Beckerman, who drilled the ball into the corner of the net for the 3-0 lead.
The home team was not done yet, as defender Jámison Olave added a fourth goal off of a cross from former Quake Arturo Alvarez to close out the scoring.
San Jose came out with an attacking mentality in the opening minutes of the match. They had the ball in the Real Salt Lake end several times, but were unable to make anything of those opportunities.
Their best chance came at the 10-minute mark. After a blocked shot, left back Bobby Convey retrieved a rebound at the top of the area, but his shot was deflected slightly by defender Nat Borchers, who slid into the play and sent the ball harmlessly out for a corner kick.
In the 28th minute, Real Salt Lake had their first good chance of the opening half. Saborío dummied a ball for Beckerman, who sent his shot from just outside the 18 over the bar.
However, the best chance of the half came in the 43rd minute. Newly acquired San Jose defender Nana Attakora was under pressure from Saborío, and turned his body to shield the ball. RSL striker Fabián Espíndola sensed the opportunity developing and pounced on the exposed ball on the other side. The result left him free on the 'keeper, but Busch did well to come out to meet the play and blocked the shot.
RSL came out firing early in the second half. Espíndola got Attakora turned and took advantage of the situation, but took the shot too close to the goal, and Busch was there to block it away.
In the 57th minute, Borchers put a header in the back of the net off of a free kick, but was judged to have been offside on the play.
With the win RSL (9-3-6, 33 points) climb into fourth in the Western Conference, while San Jose (5-7-9) drop behind Chivas USA into seventh. Real next face Columbus on July 30 at Rio Tinto, while San Jose begin a three-game homestand with a match against D.C. United that same night.
RSL -- Alvaro Saborio 4 (unassisted) 8
RSL -- Alvaro Saborio 5 (penalty kick) 63
RSL -- Kyle Beckerman 2 (unassisted) 78
RSL -- Jamison Olave 2 (Arturo Alvarez 1, Kyle Beckerman 5) 83
RSL -- Kyle Beckerman (caution; Reckless Tackle) 13
SJ -- Jacob Peterson (caution; Delaying a Restart) 15
SJ -- Bobby Convey (caution; Tactical Foul) 32
SJ -- Brad Ring (caution; Reckless Tackle) 56
SJ -- Bobby Burling (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 60
San Jose Earthquakes -- Jon Busch, Tim Ward, Bobby Burling, Nana Attakora (Brad Ring 54), Bobby Convey, Jacob Peterson, Sam Cronin, Khari Stephenson, Rafael Baca, Chris Wondolowski, Scott Sealy (Chris Leitch 63).
Substitutes Not Used: Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Joey Gjertsen, Ellis McLoughlin, David Bingham.
Real Salt Lake -- Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Jamison Olave, Nat Borchers, Tony Beltran, Ned Grabavoy (Arturo Alvarez 79), Kyle Beckerman, Andy Williams (Collen Warner 72), Will Johnson (Luis Gil 82), Alvaro Saborio, Fabian Espindola.
Substitutes Not Used: Jean Alexandre, Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert, Kyle Reynish.
Referee: David Gantar
Referee's Assistants: Anthony Vasoli; Colin Arblaster
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Time of Game: 2:50
Weather: Sunny and 88 degrees