San Jose Earthquakes 5, Real Salt Lake 2 | MLS is Back Tournament Match Recap

The San Jose Earthquakes are into the quarterfinals of the MLS is Back Tournament, knocking off Real Salt Lake 5-2 during a round of 16 match Monday night.

San Jose broke a 1-1 deadlock with four second-half goals, plus benefited from a red card to RSL center back Marcelo Silva in the 84th minute after his crunching tackle on Jackson Yueill. RSL actually finished with nine men, as Kyle Beckerman was sent off in the 97th minute for kicking the ball at referee Drew Fischer, all shortly after Magnus Eriksson scored his second penalty kick of the evening to complete the rout.

Eriksson’s first PK arose in the 49th minute as Alvin Jones tripped up Tommy Thompson, and saw the Swedish midfielder to lace home to Zac MacMath’s left. That made it 2-1, and his 96th-minute effort sealed the 5-2 scoreline when a Video Review deemed that Beckerman handled the ball in the 18-yard box.

Vako was particularly active for San Jose, and the Designated Player scored the eventual game-winner in the 61st minute. He pounced on poor distribution from MacMath, combined with attack partner Andres Rios and latched onto a clever pass across the six-yard box for a 3-1 lead in the 61st minute. Vako also had an assist in the 21st minute when he helped to engineer Cristian Espinoza’s opener. His fellow Designated Player rifled low and hard past MacMath, giving San Jose a 1-0 lead. 

The early San Jose lead was short-lived, as Douglas Martinez equalized in the 22nd minute, just one minute and 13 seconds after Espinoza's goal, after he ran onto a long ball and leveled at 1-1. RSL’s other goal came in the 75th minute via Damir Kreilach, who made it 3-2 after Silva played him through on goal.

The Earthquakes were solid start to finish, and even benefited from some luck. Chris Wondolowski made it 4-2 in the 86th minute when the ball ricocheted into the net off his outstretched leg.


  • 21' – SJ – Cristian Espinoza | WATCH
  • 22' – RSL – Douglas Martinez | WATCH
  • 49' – SJ – Magnus Eriksson (PK) | WATCH
  • 61' – SJ – Vako | WATCH
  • 75' – RSL – Damir Kreilach | WATCH
  • 86' – SJ – Chris Wondolowski | WATCH
  • 90' (+6) – SJ – Magnus Eriksson (PK) | WATCH

Man of the Match presented by Heineken

Cristian Espinoza had a goal and assist, setting the tempo for San Jose before exiting as a sub in the 76th minute. The Argentine winger now has two goals and two assists at the MLS is Back Tournament.

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: San Jose topped Group B and then picked up right where they left off. They’re 3-0-1 overall in Orlando with 11 goals scored, proving that Matias Almedya’s system can be incredibly effective.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: There were so many to choose from, but we’re going with Marcelo Silva’s red card in the 84th minute. RSL pulled back to 3-2 and then were reduced to 10 men, halting comeback hopes for Freddy Juarez’s group.
  • YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: His goal wasn’t pretty, but Chris Wondolowski scored for the third straight game. The living legend is atop the MLS all-time goals chart for a reason.

Next Up

  • SJ: Quarterfinal vs. Columbus or Minnesota
  • RSL: End of tournament