REAL SALT LAKE vs SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
RIO TINTO STADIUM, Sandy, Utah
Sept. 21, 2013 (WEEK 30, MLS Game #277)
7 p.m. MT (KUCW; CSN-CA)
A huge match in the Western Conference is ahead on Saturday evening as Real Salt Lake play host to the San Jose Earthquakes at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real have fallen out of the top spot in the division for the first time in months, following their 2-0 loss at new leaders Seattle Sounders FC last weekend. The Earthquakes, winners of the Supporters’ Shield a year ago, find themselves five points outside of the playoff positions in the West at the start of the weekend, following their scoreless home draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
REFEREE: Chris Penso. AR1 (bench): Colin Arblaster; AR2 (opposite): Mike Kampmeinert; 4th: Ricardo Salazar
MLS Career: 46 games; FC/gm: 22.6; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 13; pens: 15tuyt
DISABLED LIST: RSL: Rich Balchan. Benji Lopez … SJ: Ty Harden, Peter McGlynn
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: RSL: Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy, Olmes Garcia, Javier Morales … SJ: Alan Gordon
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: RSL: Lovel Palmer, Yordany Alvarez, Chris Wingert, Carlos Salcedo … SJ: Rafael Baca, Sam Cronin, Clarence Goodson, Chris Wondolowski
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
ALL-TIME (18 meetings): Real 7 wins, 27 goals … Earthquakes 6 wins, 24 goals …Ties 5
AT SALT LAKE (9 meetings): Real 3 wins, 14 goals … Earthquakes 2 wins, 7 goals … Ties 4
3/3: SJ 0, RSL 2 (Saborio 71, 85)
6/1: RSL 3, SJ 0 (Morales 16; Grabavoy 33; Findley 38)
- The teams are meeting for the third time this season, and Real have won both previous. Alvaro Saborío scored twice in the game’s final 10 minutes to give Real a 2-0 victory on March 3 at Buck Shaw Stadium, then Javier Morales, Ned Grabavoy and Robbie Findley scored in a 3-0 RSL home win on June 1.
- The three victories in three meetings last year by San Jose snapped a five-game league winless streak in the series, dating back to 2009. Coming into last season, Real had won three of the previous five MLS meetings, with two draws.
- The Quakes win last year in Sandy was their first ever at Rio Tinto Stadium, and their first in Utah since RSL’s inaugural season of 2005.
- Coaches record: Jason Kreis vs. SJ: P14 W7 L4 D3 … Mark Watson vs. RSL: first game
LAST MEETING (MLS)
- Real were three goals to the good before halftime. The opener came in the 16th minute. Robbie Findley hammered a shot that San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch could only block, and the rebound went straight to the feet of Javier Morales eight yards out, where he calmly slotted the ball into the open left side of the net.
- In the 33rd minute, it was 2-0. Morales took a pass down toward the right corner from Findley behind the defense and sent in a cross. Forward Joao Plata sold a perfect dummy, leaving the ball for Ned Grabavoy, and he hammered a left-footed shot into the upper-right corner.
- RSL made it 3-0 five minutes later. Plata beat a defender in the box toward the left-side endline and sent a ball across that a defender was just able to poke back out, but the ball went straight to the feet of Findley just inside the left corner of the 18, and he curled a gorgeous finish into the right side of the net to seal the match.
- REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert (Abdoulie Mansally 58) - Khari Stephenson (Luis Gil 68), Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy - Javier Morales - Robbie Findley (Olmes Garcia 75), Joao Plata.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Brad Ring, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow - Marvin Chavez, Sam Cronin (Steven Lenhart 39), Adam Jahn (Rafael Baca 40), Walter Martinez - Alan Gordon (Mehdi Ballouchy 85), Chris Wondolowski.
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake saw their two-game winning streak put to an end, falling 2-0 to Seattle Sounders FC on Friday evening at CenturyLink Field. RSL are in second place in the Western Conference with 48 points from 28 games.
- Sounders FC had the lead after just three minutes. Obafemi Martins started the sequence by taking the ball 30 yards out and then laying it off to Andy Rose, who was streaking down the left side. Rose caught up to the ball near the endline and sent in a cross that Martins hammered in from about 10 yards out.
- The lead was doubled in the 38th minute, with Martins in the middle of it again. This time, he received a pass near midfield and sent a ball to DeAndre Yedlin along the right touchline. Yedlin sped ahead of the defense and charged into the penalty box before picking out Lamar Neagle with a well-placed cross, who volleyed home from around 10 yards out.
- RSL head coach Jason Kreis made one change to the team that took a 4-2 triumph against the Portland Timbers at Rio Tinto Stadium. Robbie Findley came in up top in place of Alvaro Saborio.
- REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Carlos Salcedo, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Luis Gil (Olmes Garcia 46), Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy - Javier Morales - Robbie Findley (Devon Sandoval 58), Joao Plata (Khari Stephenson 76)
- With the defeat in Seattle, Real are now out of the top spot in the Western Conference for the first time since early June, and also no longer lead the MLS overall table.
- “I said earlier this week I don’t think that we saw the best of Seattle when we beat them the two times in Salt Lake, and tonight was the best of Seattle,” said RSL head coach Jason Kreis. “Let’s be fair, it wasn’t the best of Real Salt Lake, so when we see the best of both teams maybe we have a different result.
- Real were shut out at the attacking end for the first time since April 27, a span of 23 games in all competitions, and just the fifth time all season.
- “I thought we got out-competed and I felt we had a lot of players that had poor games. Poor games with the ball, and it's atypical, so I think we can brush it off,” said Kreis. “We need to get back to work this week, work extremely hard and get ourselves prepared for San Jose.”
- Robbie Findley returned to the starting lineup in attack after coming off the substitutes’ bench each of the last two matches.
- Alvaro Saborío was unavailable after suffering an calf injury while on international duty with Costa Rica. He has started just one of the last four matches for RSL.
- “Missing a weekend, like I said, I think we were rusty,” said defender Nat Borchers. “We couldn't get in a rhythm. Guys were second-guessing their passing, expecting guys to be in different spots, and we were passing the ball out of bounds sometimes. We've got to be better with that, for sure.”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
The San Jose Earthquakes extended their long home undefeated run, reaching a scoreless draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday evening at Buck Shaw Stadium. The Quakes are in a tie for seventh place in the Western Conference with 38 points from 29 matches.
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted made two saves on the night, but was nearly beaten for an own goal in the 87th minute when Jay DeMerit’s redirection of a Marvin Chavez free kick caromed off the back post.
- Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch was credited with three saves, maintaining his club's long home unbeaten streak.
- Quakes interim head coach Mark Watson made three changes to the team that defeated Philadelphia Union 1-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium. Clarence Goodson and Victor Bernardez returned from international duty to replace Justin Morrow and Jason Hernandez, and Ramiro Corrales came in for the suspended Rafael Baca.
- SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-4-2): Jon Busch - Steven Beitashour, Clarence Goodson, Victor Bernardez, Jordan Stewart - Cordell Cato (Jaime Alas 82), Sam Cronin, Ramiro Corrales (Walter Martinez 80), Shea Salinas (Marvin Chavez 59) - Chris Wondolowski, Alan Gordon.
- While the Earthquakes did extend their home undefeated streak to 14 games, the fifth-longest in club history, they saw their winning streak on their home ground stopped at six matches.
- “I think our confidence level is fine. We’re obviously a bit disappointed that we didn’t get the three points, but we know there are still lots of points on the table. Although the games are running out with five to go, it’ll be crucial to win our remaining games,” said Earthquakes interim head coach Mark Watson.
- Said Quakes forward Alan Gordon: “I think that we were expecting three points, and it’s definitely a letdown to get a tie here. We needed three points.”
- The Quakes begin a stretch of three matches out of the next four in league play on the road with the visit to Real Salt Lake. San Jose is winless in its last six away matches.
- “It’s getting tight,” Quakes goalkeeper Jon Busch said. “It always seems every year, whether it’s us or other teams, that you get to this time of the season and points are tough to come by. . . . Vancouver’s scrapping for the same points we are. So games may not be as open as they are earlier in the season, because everybody knows how important the points are.”
- The Quakes were shut out at the attacking end for the first time at home since the season-opening 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake at Buck Shaw Stadium. Each of San Jose’s previous nine offensive shutouts had come on the road.
- The Quakes also recorded their second consecutive shutout at the defensive end, their first back-to-back shutouts this season, and have now gone 202 minutes without conceding a goal. The Earthquakes have five shutouts in their last nine MLS matches; they recorded just one in their first 20 of the season.
- “It feels good to get a clean sheet, but we really needed that win,” said defender Steven Beitashour. “We’re disappointed not to get three points. We played well, but at this point in the season, we need to close out that match with a goal.”
- Ramiro Corrales made his first MLS start since May 11, coming into the center of midfield with Rafael Baca suspended.
- On Tuesday, the Quakes did keep alive their hopes of advancement in the CONCACAF Champions League with another quality home performance, defeating the Montréal Impact 3-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium. Chris Wondolowski, Marvin Chavez and Shea Salinas scored for the Quakes. San Jose is tied for second place in Group 5 with Montréal with 3 points from 3 matches.
- Here’s the San Jose team: David Bingham, Dan Gargan, Jason Hernandez, Clarence Goodson, Justin Morrow, Marvin Chavez (Shea Salinas 75), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Jaime Alas (Cordell Cato 67), Chris Wondolowski, Steven Lenhart (Alan Gordon 82)