SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Real Salt Lake (11-5-10, 43 points, West #3) picked up a critical road point at San Jose Earthquakes (6-10-8, 26 points, West #8) on Saturday night, tying their Western Conference rivals 1-1 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
San Jose took an early lead on Saturday, getting a 14th minute goal from MF Sam Cronin to go up 1-0. RSL was able to pull even in the 36th minute through a penalty kick converted by MF Javier Morales to end the first half 1-1. Despite a nervy final few minutes, Real Salt Lake was able to hold onto the draw to leave Buck Shaw Stadium with a vital road point.
RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar made two changes to the lineup that fell 2-1 at FC Dallas last week. Argentine playmaker and RSL veteran, Morales, made his return to the starting XI after missing the Claret-and-Cobalt’s last two matches due to a hip injury. RSL DF Abdoulie Mansally earned his fifth start of the year replacing DF Chris Wingert at left back.
Real Salt Lake created the first chance of the match in the fifth minute. Mansally received the ball on the left wing and whipped a cross into the box that RSL MF Luke Mulholland was able to get a head to, but his attempt from just outside the six yard box flew high over the crossbar.
San Jose managed to take advantage of an RSL defensive lapse to take the lead in the 14th minute. The play started with a Claret-and-Cobalt throw-in from inside its own final third that RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman couldn’t control, allowing San Jose FW Chris Wondolowski to pounce on the giveaway and drive towards goal. The USMNT striker opted not to shoot but cut back a pass for Cronin at the top of the area. Cronin took a touch into space and slotted a shot to the far post from the center of the box.
Wondolowski had a golden opportunity to double San Jose’s lead in the 19th minute. The play started with Quakes FW Tommy Thompson who won a header against RSL DF Nat Borchers outside the area that fell to Wondolowski inside the 18. The prolific scorer didn’t waste any time, blasting a half-volley attempt from the middle of the box just wide of the near post.
Real Salt Lake saw a bit of good fortune in the 35th minute when it was awarded a penalty kick that Morales converted for the equalizer. Mansally continued to be dangerous on the left wing, playing a low cross into the area that RSL FW Olmes Garcia attempted to run onto to, but San Jose DF Jordan Stewart slid in to make the tackle appearing to take down the Colombian striker at the top of the six while doing so. The referee pointed to the spot and Morales stepped up to take the kick, coolly finishing to the left corner in the 36th minute to remain perfect on PKs this year.
RSL GK Nick Rimando made a huge save in the 43rd minute to keep things level heading into the break. San Jose MF Shea Salinas started the play on the right wing, sending in a low ball into the box that slipped by Wondolowski to find MF Attiba Harris at the center of the area. Harris fired a shot to the bottom left corner that looked ticketed for the back of the net, but Rimando came up with a fantastic one-handed save to push the ball off the line.
Beckerman had a good look from distance in the 53rd minute. The RSL Captain blasted a right-footed shot from 28 yards out that just narrowly missed the right corner.
Real Salt Lake controlled much of the second half, pressuring San Jose in its search of a game-winner, but the Claret-and-Cobalt were unable to produce any clear-cut chances in front of goal. San Jose created a nervy final 10 minutes with the Quakes pouncing on the counter, requiring a big defensive play from RSL DF Chris Schuler in the 83rd minute to snuff out Thompson on the break. San Jose continued to pile on the attack in the stoppage time earning a corner kick in the 93rd minute. The cross into the box found San Jose’s Harris but his header went straight to Rimando for the easy save. The Quakes were unable to break through in the end to finish the match 1-1.
RSL will return to action next Saturday, with a rematch against FC Dallas at 8:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. Tickets to the RSL-Dallas match can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, over the phone at 801-727-2700 or online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 1-1 SJ
- Today’s matchup between RSL and San Jose Earthquakes marked the second regular season meeting between the two sides this year. RSL is now 0-0-2 against the Bay Area club this year, previously drawing San Jose 3-3 on March 15 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
- Real Salt Lake now posts an even 7-7-7 all-time regular season record against the California side and a 4-4-3 all-time regular season road record against the Quakes.
- Tonight marked the return of RSL MF Javier Morales to the Claret-and-Cobalt lineup. The Argentine playmaker missed RSL’s last two matches due to a hip injury. Morales scored the equalizer in the 36th minute, converting from the spot for his seventh goal of the year, Morales remains perfect on spot kicks this year.
- RSL DF Abdoulie Mansally earned his fifth start of the year tonight, replacing DF Chris Wingert at left back.
- With tonight’s draw Real Salt Lake currently sits fourth in the league, tied on points with D.C. United and LA Galaxy with 43. Seattle sits atop the table with 48 points with a game in hand on RSL.
- The Claret-and-Cobalt moved into third-place in the Western Conference, tied on points with LA Galaxy but claiming one less win.
- RSL has had mixed results on the road this year, now posting a 4-4-5 record for a total of 17 points.
- Despite their World Cup departure, Rimando and Beckerman rank first and second, respectively, amongst active MLS players in all-time regular season minutes played (Rimando: 32,913; Beckerman: 28,356), games played (NR: 364; KB: 345) and games started (NR: 364; KB: 316).
REAL SALT LAKE 1–1 SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
SATURDAY, AUGUST 30, 2014
BUCK SHAW STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 0 1
San Jose Earthquakes 1 0 1
SJ – Sam Cronin (Chris Wondolowski) – 14’
RSL – Javier Morales (Penalty Kick) – 36’
SJ – Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (Yellow; Dissent) – 61’
SJ – Jason Hernandez (Yellow; Foul) – 68’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Abdoulie Mansally; Kyle Beckerman (C), Luke Mulholland (Luis Gil, 83’), Ned Grabavoy, Javier Morales (Cole Grossman, 93’); Joao Plata, Olmes Garcia (Robbie Findley, 79’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella; Chris Wingert, Carlos Salcedo, Sebastian Jaime
San Jose Earthquakes (4-4-2): Jon Busch; Shaun Francis, Jason Hernandez, Victor Bernardez, Jordan Stewart; Shea Salinas (Cordell Cato, 75’), Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (J.J. Koval, 83’), Sam Cronin, Atiba Harris; Tommy Thompson, Chris Wondolowski
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Brandon Barklage, Ty Harden, Khari Stephenson, Billy Schuler
Referee: David Gantar
Assistant Referees: Anthony Vasoli, Jeremy Hanson
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Clear and 77 degrees