SANDY, Utah (Saturday, June 18, 2022) – Real Salt Lake (8-4-4, 28 points) remain undefeated at Rio Tinto Stadium in 2022, as the team earned an emphatic 2-0 victory over visiting San Jose Earthquakes behind goals from defender Marcelo Silva and Designated Player Jefferson Savarino on either side of the halftime break.
Tonight’s win was RSL’s fourth in its last five games, while the team rebounded from its June 4 loss at Vancouver. During the Pablo Mastroeni era, RSL is now 8-1-2 (W-L-T) in “bounce-back” games following losses. Saturday’s win against San Jose was Mastroeni’s 10th at home since assuming the head coaching position, Real Salt Lake now 10-2-1 on Utah soil under the guidance of the former USA World Cup standout. Four of RSL’s next six matches occur at home, beginning with next week’s game against Columbus. Additional home games on July 9 (Colorado), July 17 (Sporting KC) and July 23 (FC Dallas) dominate the Summer.
With a Club-record seventh consecutive sellout crowd (20,517) to start the 2022 season, Real Salt Lake jumped out to an aggressive start, creating multiple chances in the first 15 minutes, including several from forward Bobby Wood. However, in the 19th minute Wood was forced off due to an injury, with recently-returned Guatemalan international Rubio Rubin coming on as the substitute.
Despite the unexpected substitution, the Claret-and-Cobalt would not be held down, as just moments later Silva hit a skipping right-footed shot, through traffic, connecting on a corner kick from Savarino, with a short flick from Tate Schmitt to take the early 1-0 lead. The team looked to double the lead in the 30th minute, when Sergio Cordova pulled away from his defender, finding Rubin wide open at the top of the box, but a diving save from the San Jose goalkeeper pushed his shot out for a corner.
At the end of the first half, it seemed as if Savarino had found the back of the net for his first goal since rejoining Real Salt Lake last month, his second stint in Utah. The Designated Player rocketed a shot past goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski, but he was adjudged to be in an offside position and the first half ended 1-0 in favor of RSL.
Real Salt Lake came out of the halftime break swinging, with Rubin flying through the air to put a header on frame in the early moments of the second half. Rubin’s shot fell to the chest of Marcinkowski, bouncing out to the feet of Cordova, but his ensuing shot was finally wrapped up by the keeper.
As the second half drug on, the two sides battled back and forth, looking to impose their will. After pestering San Jose’s backline, Real Salt Lake was finally awarded with its second goal of the night, when Savarino willed his way into the box, weaving his way through multiple defenders to slot a mind-bending shot inside the far-left post to double the lead in the 81st minute.
San Jose nearly netted a consolation goal in the final minute of regulation time, but Nathan’s shot bounced off the woodwork and Everton Luiz was able to clear the ball out of danger, giving Real Salt Lake the 2-0 victory.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake is set to remain at home for the first back-to-back series of matches at Rio Tinto Stadium this season, hosting Eastern Conference foe Columbus Crew next Saturday, June 25 at 8:00 p.m. MT for the Club’s annual Pride Night. Saturday also will mark the Club’s first Fireworks night of the year, as RSL does not host an Independence Day Weekend contest for the first time in its 18-year history.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
RSL: Marcelo Silva (Jefferson Savarino, Tate Schmitt) 22nd minute: Savarino serviced his corner kick towards the top of the 18-yard-box, through several players. Where Schmitt flicked it backwards near the top of the box to Silva who was able to run onto the cross, skipping a right-footed shot into the left goal post. Silva’s goal was his second of the season, both at home, both proving to be game-winners in shutout performances for the Club (April 30, 1-0 v LA Galaxy).
RSL: Jefferson Savarino 81st minute: Savarino maneuvered his way through several San Jose defenders, driving towards the endline where he cut back before firing off a curving shot into the bottom left corner. The Savarino goal was his first for RSL and his first at the RioT since November, 2019.
- Zack Farnsworth (right ankle), Bret Halsey (ankle), Jonathan Menendez (adductor), Chris Kablan (foot) and Damir Kreilach (back) were unavailable due to injury.
- Midfielder Pablo Ruiz was unavailable due to International travel and bereavement.
- Homegrown Midfielder Diego Luna was unavailable due to being with the U-20 United States Youth National Team for U-20 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. Luna played 30 minutes today in the team’s 10-0 win over St. Kitts and Nevis.
- Designated Player Jefferson Savarino made his first start for Real Salt Lake since returning to Utah on May 4. He also recorded his first assist of the season, his 22nd with RSL.
- Real Salt Lake fans set a new Club record with its seventh consecutive sell out at Rio Tinto Stadium to open the season.
- With tonight’s win, RSL improves to 6-0-1 at home this season, making it the Club’s best-ever start at the RioT. RSL is also one of just two teams in the league to remain unbeaten, joining Philadelphia Union.
- Since July of 2021, RSL has won 13 of 16 at home (L2, D1), including five of six this season, no team has earned more points at home during this period.
Match: Real Salt Lake vs San Jose Earthquakes
Date: June 18, 2022
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Windy and 90 degrees
Scoring Summary 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
San Jose Earthquakes 0 0 0
RSL: Marcelo Silva (Jefferson Savarino, Tate Schmitt) 22’
RSL: Jefferson Savarino 81'
Real Salt Lake (4-4-2): Zac MacMath; Andrew Brody, Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva, Tate Schmitt; Jefferson Savarino (Maikel Chang 82’), Jasper Löffelsend (Everton Luiz 75’), Scott Caldwell (Nick Besler 75’), Justin Meram; Bobby Wood (Rubio Rubin 20’), Sergio Cordova (Anderson Julio 92’)
Subs not used: Tomas Gomez, Johan Kappelhof, Erik Holt
San Jose Earthquakes (4-3-3): JT Marcinkowski; Paul Marie (v 82’), Nathan, Tanner Beason, Marcos Lopez; Jackson Yueill, Jamiro Monteiro, Judson (Jan Gregus 69’); Cristian Espinoza, Jeremy Ebobisse (Shea Salinas 69’), Benji Kikanovic
Subs not used: Matt Bersano, Jack Skahan, Will Richmond, Tommy Thompson, Oskar Agren
Stats Summary: RSL / SJ
Shots: 16 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 1
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 10 / 3
Fouls: 9 / 12
RSL: Tate Schmitt (caution) 31’
SJ: Cristian Espinoza (caution) 68’
SJ: Nathan (caution) 79’
RSL: Everton Luiz (caution) 90+4’
Referee: Alex Chilowicz
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Ryan Graves
4th Official: Chris Ruska
VAR: Kevin Stott