RSL FALLS OUT OF WEST LEAD FOR FIRST TIME IN 11 WEEKS WITH
1-2 HOME LOSS TO SAN JOSE
Earthquakes Burn RSL on Set Pieces on Either Side of Morales Free Kick Equalizer;
10-5-2 (32 pts) Remains Best-Ever 17-Game Start;
RSL Suffers First-Ever Consecutive Rio Tinto Stadium Losses
SANDY, Utah (Saturday, June 23, 2012) – Real Salt Lake (10-5-2, 32 points, West #2) fell at home for the second time in four days to a Western Conference rival, dropping a 1-2 decision before 18,050 Rio Tinto Stadium fans to the San Jose Earthquakes (10-3-3, 33 points, West #1). The loss marked RSL’s first back-to-back MLS losses since October, 2007, and the franchise’s first three-game home losing streak since September, 2005.
RSL and San Jose spent the first 20 minutes of the evening adjusting to the temperatures nearing 100 degrees in the high Utah desert, feeling each other out. RSL was unlucky not to have at least one goal in the first half, as a 23rd-minute shot by FW Fabian Espindola from a sharp angle was headed off the line by ‘Quakes DF Jason Hernandez. In the 31st minute, Espindola dribbled to the endline and his cut-back pass found strike partner Alvaro Saborio just inside the area, but his one-time shot was snuffed out by SJ DF Victor Bernardez.
The scoreless first half was punctuated by a yellow card for dissent to RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman, his fifth caution of the season, meaning that the U.S. Men’s National Team player will miss RSL’s trip next Saturday to face the Columbus Crew (6:00 p.m. MT, LIVE on CW30 and ESPN700).
The second 45 minutes started much as the previous stanza ended, with several opportunities and half-chances by RSL going unfulfilled. RSL out-shot San Jose, 17-9 leading up to the 72nd minute, when Hernandez again repeated his heroics by clearing a Saborio attempt off the line, right after ‘Quakes ‘keeper Jon Busch saved a point-blank Will Johnson shot. Two minutes later, Earthquakes’ substitute Alan Gordon found the back of the net on a bizarre play. Following a near-side restart by Ramiro Corrales, the ball bounced in the box between RSL DF Nat Borchersand GK Nick Rimando. Gordon pounced on the loose ball and slammed it home in the 75th minute for a 1-0 San Jose lead.
Four minutes later, RSL MF Javier Morales equalized on a scintillating free kick from just outside the box. Morales curled a trademark offering over the wall, just inside the near post, beating Busch in a fashion similar to so many free kicks over his RSL career. The goal by Morales – coming in his first start since May 9 at Chicago, the game in which he pulled himself out after 20 minutes due to a quadriceps strain – was his 2nd of the season and the first since March 10, when he supplied the game-winner in the season-opening 3-1 road win at Los Angeles.
Despite dominating possession percentage 60-40, and completing 83% of its 466 passes – 153 more than San Jose – RSL coughed up home points on another restart, as a quick throw-in from Justin Morrow to Gordon was played to MLS Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski, whose point-blank shot went off Rimando’s hand and into the goal for the eventual game-winner.
Click here to access video highlights and the MLSsoccer.com MATCHCENTER for RSL v SJ
WATCH: Jason Kreis post-game press conference VIDEO
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 1 : 2 SJ
• Real Salt Lake fell to 6-3-0 at home in MLS play this season, losing to all three of Major League Soccer’s California clubs: 0-1 to Chivas USA on March 24, and 2-3 to Los Angeles on Wednesday … RSL also suffered a 4th home loss this year, back on May 29 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, 2-3, to the NASL Minnesota Stars.
• The back-to-back home losses in MLS play this week were the team’s first since October, 2007, when RSL dropped a 2-3 decision to Chivas USA on the Rice-Eccles Stadium turf and then suffered an 0-1 loss to Houston nine days later … In all competitions, when including the May 29 U.S. Open Cup loss to Minnesota, RSL has now lost three consecutive home matches for the first time since its inaugural 2005 season, when the expansion club dropped its final three games of the campaign to visiting Columbus, D.C. United and Colorado teams.
• Despite this week’s doom and gloom losses to Los Angeles and San Jose, RSL’s current 10-5-2 mark through 17 games remains the best-ever at this juncture, the 32 points collected one more than the 31 in 2010 (9-4-4 through 17 games) and the 30 last season (8-3-6).
• With his caution tonight, MF Javier Morales joins MF Kyle Beckerman and FW Alvaro Saborio in “yellow peril,” the trio suspended for one game with their next yellow cards … Beckerman has already benefited from the league’s “Good Behavior Incentive,” after going three consecutive games without a booking … Saborio needs two more caution-free games to see his yellow-card total reduced to 3, while Morales will need now to go three consecutive games without discipline in order to earn his reduction.
• Only DF Tony Beltran and FW Alvaro Saborio have appeared in all 17 MLS games for RSL this year, with Beltran the team’s 2012 minutes leader (1513) …
• Real Salt Lake will be off Sunday and Monday before returning to MLS action one week from tonight in Ohio against postseason and CONCACAF rival Columbus Crew(6:00 p.m. MT, LIVE on CW30; 8:00 p.m. MT post-game show presented by Ram Trucks) … The team’s next home game – which continues a stretch that sees RSL play 4 out of 5 and 6 out of 8 games overall at Rio Tinto Stadium – is on Wednesday, July 4 with an 8:00 p.m. MT kickoff against West rival Seattle Sounders FC, with a post-game Independence Day Fireworks celebration … Three days later, RSL welcomes Portland Timbers FC on Saturday, July 7 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for any RSL home match can be purchased at www.RealSaltLake.com or by calling (801) 727.2701.
REAL SALT LAKE 1:2 SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 2012
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 1 1
San Jose Earthquakes 0 2 2
SJ – Alan Gordon (Corrales) 75’
RSL – Javier Morales 79’
SJ – Steven Wondolowski (Gordon, Morrow) 84’
SJ – Khari Stephenson (Foul, Yellow Card) 41’
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (Foul, Yellow Card) 45’
RSL – Fabian Espίndola 90’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Nick Rimando (GK); Terakazu Tanaka (Luis Gil 72’), Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert, Tony Beltran (Paulo Jr. 89’), Kyle Beckerman (c), Ned Grabavoy (Jonny Steele 59’), Will Johnson, Javier Morales, Álvaro Saborίo, Fabian Espίndola
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish (GK), Yordany Alvarez, Emiliano Bonfigli, Chris Estridge
San Jose Earthquakes (4-1-2-1-2) – Jon Busch (GK); Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Ramiro Corrales(c), Jason Hernandez, Marvin Chavez, Simon Dawkins (Shea Salinas 66’), Justin Morrow, Khari Stephenson (Jean-Marc Alexandre 84’), Steven Lenhart (Alan Gordon 59’), Chris Wondolowski
Substitutes Not Used: David Bingham (GK); Rafael Baca, Tressor Moreno, Ike Opara,
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Referee's Assistants: Corey Rockwell, Fabio Tovar
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Clear and 99 degrees