SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (7-5-3, 24 points, West #2) extended its run of hot form on Saturday night, getting three first half goals to cruise to a 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes (3-5-6, 15 points, West #8) at Rio Tinto Stadium.
MF Javier Morales, MF Ned Grabavoy and FW Robbie Findley scored for RSL, which moved into sole possession of second-place in the Western Conference with Saturday’s win. The Claret-and-Cobalt is now 5-1-1 in its last seven matches across all competitions.
Morales opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Findley collected a ball on the right flank and ran in on goal, firing a 10-yard shot off of diving San Jose GK Jon Busch. Morales pounced on the rebound, calmly slotting his eight-yard effort inside the left post to give RSL the early lead.
The Claret-and-Cobalt continued pressing after scoring the opener, controlling possession and keeping San Jose in its own half. The nonstop pressure came to a head in the 33rd minute, with Grabavoy scoring a fine goal to double RSL’s advantage. Findley again started the play, finding Morales on the right wing with a through ball. The Argentine playmaker curled a low cross to the middle toward FW Joao Plata, who brilliantly let the ball through to Grabavoy at the back post. The former ‘Quake did the rest, running onto Plata’s dummy and blasting a 15-yarder into the top-right corner from the left side.
Findley made it 3-0 just five minutes later. Plata got to the end line on the left side, hitting a low cross into the middle that a San Jose player cleared right to Findley in the left side of the area. The 27-year-old speedster controlled the ball nicely, taking one touch before curling a low, right-footed laser past a diving Busch and inside the far post from 15 out.
San Jose Head Coach Frank Yallop made two changes in the 40th minute, bringing FW Steven Lenhart on for MF Sam Cronin and MF Rafael Baca in for MF Adam Jahn.
The changes paid minor dividends in the opening minutes of the second half, with San Jose controlling stretches of the game and registering a couple of decent looks on goal. The ‘Quakes first good chance came in the 58th minute, when MF Marvin Chavez unleashed a long-range rocket that RSL GK Nick Rimando parried away. San Jose DF Steven Beitashour latched onto the rebound just outside the six, but hit his right footed shot over the bar.
Rimando made another good stop in the 65th minute. 2012 MLS Golden Boot winner FW Chris Wondolowski collected a Baca pass in the right side of the box, firing a low 10-yarder to the near post that Rimando parried out for a corner.
Grabavoy had a half chance in the 68th and San Jose had another decent look in the 74th. Lenhart collected a loose cross in the right side of the box and hit a side volley toward the near post that Rimando punched away nicely.
RSL and the ‘Quakes will meet again on Sunday in MLS Reserve League action, with the Real Salt Lake Reserves taking on the San Jose Earthquakes Reserves at 11:00 a.m. MT at America First Field in Sandy. The match is open to the public and free to attend.
The Claret-and-Cobalt will return to MLS action next Saturday, June 8, when it will take on the LA Galaxy at 7:30 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL will host the Charleston Battery in the fourth-round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, June 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 3-0 SJ
- Saturday’s win moves RSL to 5-1-1 in its last seven games across all competitions. The Claret-and-Cobalt has scored 17 goals and conceded just eight during that stretch, which dates back to the team’s 2-0 home win over Vancouver on May 4.
- RSL is now 2-0-0 against San Jose this year. The Claret-and-Cobalt was swept by the ‘Quakes last season, going 0-3-0 and getting outscored 10-2 against the Bay Area side.
- RSL MF Javier Morales – who had a goal and an assist on Saturday night – now has six goals and six assists in 12 regular season games against San Jose. That’s the most goals Morales has against any one team and the second-most assists he has against any one side; he has eight helpers in eight games against New England. Morales has the most goals and most assists in RSL-San Jose games of any player on either side of the series.
- MF Ned Grabavoy’s 33rd minute goal on Saturday gave him three regular season goals in the last 13 days, matching his total output in the five MLS seasons from 2008-2012. Grabavoy’s other two tallies came in RSL’s 4-1 win at Chivas USA on Sunday, May 19.
- FW Robbie Findley had his best game since returning to RSL this offseason after spending two years in England, notching a 38th minute goal and registering an assist as he played a part in all three of the Utah side’s strikes on Saturday night.
- RSL FW Alvaro Saborio and DF Abdoulie Mansally will both leave RSL for international duty on Sunday. Saborio – who was not in the 18 on Saturday due to a left quad injury – will join Costa Rica and Mansally – who played the final 32 minutes against the ‘Quakes – will meet up with Gambia for World Cup Qualifying matches. Both players will miss RSL’s June 8 MLS game against the LA Galaxy and its June 12 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match against the Charleston Battery.
- Saturday's shutout marks RSL’s first clean sheet since its 2-0 win over Vancouver on May 4 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
REAL SALT LAKE 3–0 SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2013
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 3 0 3
San Jose Earthquakes 0 0 0
RSL – Javier Morales – 16’
RSL – Ned Grabavoy (Javier Morales, Robbie Findley) – 33’
RSL – Robbie Findley – 38’
RSL – Khari Stephenson (Yellow; Foul) – 24’
SJ – Sam Cronin (Yellow; Foul) – 40’
SJ – Alan Gordon (Yellow; Foul) – 49’
RSL – Abdoulie Mansally (Yellow; Foul) – 77’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Chris Wingert (Abdoulie Mansally, 58’); Kyle Beckerman (C); Ned Grabavoy, Khari Stephenson (Luis Gil, 68’); Javier Morales; Joao Plata, Robbie Findley (Olmes Garcia, 75’)
Substitutes not used: Josh Saunders (GK), Yordany Alvarez, Devon Sandoval, Carlos Salcedo
San Jose Earthquakes (4-4-2): Jon Busch; Steven Beitashour, Jason Hernandez, Brad Ring, Justin Morrow; Marvin Chavez, Adam Jahn (Rafael Baca, 40’), Sam Cronin (Steven Lenhart, 40’), Walter Martinez; Alan Gordon (Mehdi Ballouchy, 85’), Chris Wondolowski (C)
Substitutes not used: David Bingham (GK), Dan Gargan, Ramiro Corrales, Shea Salinas
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistant Referees: Kevin Duliba, Marco Arruda
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Sunny and 77 degrees