SANDY, Utah (Saturday, October 30, 2021) – Real Salt Lake (13-13-6, 45 points) dropped a 4-3 home result after allowing three unanswered San Jose goals following an early Albert Rusnák goal, a result that snapped a seven-game win streak and a nine-game unbeaten run at Rio Tinto Stadium. Midfielder Maikel Chang and Rusnák each added late goals to pull RSL within one, but the home side was unable to earn a result.
With the loss, RSL must depend on other results involving a handful of teams in the coming days to remain above the playoff line in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference.
Saturday’s loss snapped a four-game win streak at Rio Tinto Stadium in the Pablo Mastroeni era, RSL winning six of its last 12 under Mastroeni, the interim head coach guiding RSL to an overall 6-6-0 mark since assuming the reins on August 27. The loss extended RSL’s back-to-back win drought to six weeks, the last coming Sept. 15/18 at San Jose and at home against Seattle.
With Saturday’s match marking the midpoint of a season-ending five-games-in-16-day stretch, Mastroeni made four changes to his starting XI from Wednesday’s dramatic 2-1 comeback win at Dallas, re-introducing Andrew Brody, Pablo Ruiz, Justin Meram and Rubio Rubin.
Rusnák added to his recent hot streak, scoring twice – including the game’s first goal in the 9th minute on a give-and-go in the box with Damir Kreilach – pacing the duo to 45 combined goals & assists, the tandem now accumulating the second-best total in MLS this season.
Rusnák’s brace gives him 10 on the season to go with 11 assists, making the Slovakian international the first RSL player with double-digit goals and assists in same season since Jeff Cunningham in 2006 (16g, 11a). The loss dropped RSL to 26-7-3 all-time when Rusnák finds the back of the net, including a 4-4-1 mark this year.
With his assist tonight on Rusnák’s second goal, RSL Aaron Herrera now boasts 11 providers on the season, the 2nd highest season total in MLS history for a defender (15, Graham Zusi, KC, 2012) Herrera matches Joevin Jones (2017 SEA) and Alejandro Silva (2018 MTL) who each had 11 assists as defenders in those respective campaigns.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake honors legendary icon Kyle Beckerman Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium in a nationally-televised ESPN2 telecast on Wednesday, with an 8:00p first kick following Beckerman festivities beginning at 6:30p MT at the University of Utah Health Plaza on the Stadium’s East Side.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
RSL: Albert Rusnák (Damir Kreilach) 9th minute: RSL wingback Andrew Brody won a 50-50 ball near midfield and surged forward, his cross into the box deflected out to Rusnák outside the left corner of the box. Rusnák then played a one-two with Kreilach 15 yards out from goal, slotting a right-footed shot under ‘Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski.
SJ: Carlos Fierro (Cade Cowell) 37th minute: San Jose surged downfield on a counter attack, with Cowell streaking down the right side and crossing into two ‘Quakes players. After a long delay, Fierro adjudged to have been onside for the equalizer.
SJ: Chris Wondolowski (Carlos Fierro, Marcos Lopez) 45+2nd minute: San Jose took a quick short corner in the final seconds of the half that was driven low into the box where Wondolowski got around his defender at the far post to find space and head home the go-ahead goal for San Jose, his 170th score in MLS regular-season play.
SJ: Cade Cowell (JT Marcinkowski) 69th minute: Cowell took down the right side of the field with an 80-yard run after receiving the ball from Marcinkowski, cutting inside the RSL defense and freeing himself to slot a ball past a helpless Ochoa one-on-one for the goal.
SJ: Jackson Yueill 80th minute: Unassisted goal after Yueill dispossessed RSL midfielder Nick Besler 30 yards from goal before blasting the ball past Ochoa.
RSL: Maikel Chang (Anderson Julio) 85th minute: Aaron Herrera found the ball on the right side where he whipped a cross that looped over RSL forward Bobby Wood and found a touch from forward Anderson Julio, before dropping to midfielder Maikel Chang, who pushed the ball into the far side-netting.
RSL: Albert Rusnák (Aaron Herrera) 90’+2nd minute: Continued pressure from RSL through midfielder Joni Menendez and defender Aaron Herrera created havoc on the San Jose backline, and Herrera’s final ball deflected to Rusnák whose shot had enough power on it to trickle into the net.
- Real Salt Lake had five RSL Academy products in the XI and six on the 20-man roster. Additionally, four players on the 20-man roster were previously signed to the Monarchs.
- Mastroeni made three changes to the starting group that beat FC Dallas on Wednesday. Pablo Ruiz started in place of Everton Luiz, Andrew Brody started in place of Jonathan Menéndez and Rubio Rubin started in place of Bobby Wood.
- RSL snapped its nine-game unbeaten run in Sandy, including its seven-game winning run at home.
Match: Real Salt Lake v. San Jose Earthquakes
Date:October 30, 2021
Venue:Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Clear and Sunny, 60 Degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 2 3
San Jose Earthquakes 2 2 4
RSL: Albert Rusnák (Damir Kreilach) 9’
SJ: Carlos Fierro (Cade Cowell) 37’
SJ: Chris Wondolowski (Carlos Fierro, Marcos Lopez) 45+2’
SJ: Cade Cowell (JT Marcinkowski) 69’
SJ: Jackson Yueill 79’
RSL: Maikel Chang (Anderson Julio) 85’
RSL: Albert Rusnák (Aaron Herrera) 90+2’
Real Salt Lake (3-5-2): David Ochoa; Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad, Erik Holt; Andrew Brody (Jonathan Menendez 62), Pablo Ruiz (Everton Luiz 62), Nick Besler, Justin Meram (Maikel Chang 62’), Albert Rusnák; Damir Kreilach (Bobby Wood 83), Rubio Rubin (Anderson Julio 73’)
Subs not used: Zac MacMath, Ashtone Morgan, Donny Toia, Justin Portillo
San Jose Earthquakes (3-4-3): JT Marcinkowski; Oswaldo Alanis, Nathan, Marcos Lopez; Jackson Yueill, Jack Skahan (Eric Remedi 60’), Judson (Tanner Beason 79’), Carlos Fierro (Cristian Espinoza 70’); Andres Rios (Jeremy Ebobisse 70’), Cade Cowell (Benji Kikanovic 70’), Chris Wondolowski
Subs not used: Daniel Vega; Paul Marie, Siad Haji
Stats Summary: RSL / SJ
Shots: 18 / 15
Shots on Goal: 9 / 6
Saves: 2 / 6
Corner Kicks: 0 / 10
Fouls: 13 / 20
SJ: Osvaldo Alanis (caution) 27’
SJ: Jackson Yueill (caution) 45’
RSL: Justen Glad (caution) 48’
SJ: Judson (caution) 58’
SJ: Espinoza (caution) 75’
REFEREE: Jon Freemon
AR: Chantal Boudreau, Jeremy Hanson
FOURTH OFFICIAL:Ramy Touchan
AVAR: Mike Kampmeinert