LEHI, Utah – Real Salt Lake will bring two former San Jose Earthquakes midfielders with them into battle at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday. Both Arturo Alvarez and Ned Grabavoy played for the Quakes before moving on to RSL, and each is looking forward to playing against his old club.
“I want to be playing regardless of the opponent, but even more so against San Jose,” Alvarez said earlier this week.
Alvarez joined Real Salt Lake via an offseason trade with Portland, after he had been selected by the Timbers in the Expansion Draft. He saw his first action with RSL earlier this week when he was brought on late during the CONCACAF Champions League against Saprissa.
The Houston native remembers last year’s home opener in San Jose when he was on the other side of the fence, when Real Salt Lake spoiled the day for the home team with a 3-0 victory on the road.
“That was one of the memories that stuck in our head,” he said of the match, insisting the team used it to fuel their fire for the rest of the season and a playoff push.
Grabavoy joined Real Salt Lake prior to the 2009 season after he was waived by San Jose. He thinks his former teammates will be motivated for this game, but not necessarily as a result of what happened a season ago.
“I expect they’ll try to start where they left off last season,” Grabavoy said. “They’re going to be ready, absolutely. Nobody wants to lose a home opener.”