Real Salt Lake got a result in San Jose on Saturday night — just not the result they were hoping for.
But the 1-1 tie, combined with FC Dallas' 1-0 loss to Chicago, moved RSL into third place in the Western Conference — and Dallas was very much on the minds of RSL coaches and players as Saturday's match ended.
“We wanted three. We'll take the point,” RSL Coach Jeff Cassar told reporters. “We moved up a little bit [in the standings].
“If we take care of business at home against FC Dallas [next week], all things are good.”
In the days leading up to Saturday's match in against the Earthquakes, Cassar and his players insisted that they weren't looking back to their Aug. 22 match in Dallas — a 2-1 loss that was tough to stomach because both of Dallas' goals were short-handed. But, clearly, that match is still very much in their thoughts.
“Yeah, that was definitely not a pretty game last week,” RSL defender Chris Schuler told reporters. “We didn't get the performance we wanted out of that, especially after being up a man. So it's definitely on our minds.”
“Yeah, we'd like to get another piece of them,” RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando said in a postgame TV interview.
Cassar was even more blunt.
“This one I want,” he said. “I think our whole team wants it. I think our whole club wants it. It's not a must-win or anything, but we want this one.”
Rimando correctly termed Saturday's tie against San Jose “weird.” How often does the Claret-and-Cobalt give up a goal because of a bad giveaway by team captain Kyle Beckerman?
“They got an early goal,” Schuler said. “And anytime you come back from a deficit, it's a positive thing.”
Cassar called Saturday's game against San Jose “choppy,” which was one of the reasons the team's newly signed Argentine striker, Sebastian Jaime — who was in the 18 — didn't get into the match.
“I think in that type of heated battle, it would almost be unfair to him to put him into that situation,” Cassar said. “And, on top of that, Robbie Findley [who was subbed in for Garcia in the 79th minute] knows that game, knows that scenario.”
The coach said it's possible Jaime will see action against Dallas next week. And RSL is clearly convinced that that game will be hugely important.
“We've got eight games left and I think home games are going to be really important down the stretch,” RSL defender Nat Borchers told reporters. “If we want to make a run at the Supporters' Shield, it starts next weekend.”