Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake returns home seeking to snap an active two-game losing streak and a 316-minute scoreless streak, hosting San Jose Earthquakes Friday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.  The match will be the second half of Major League Soccer’s “Viernes de Futbol” on Univision Deportes Network, with coverage kicking off at 8:00 p.m. MT. Local TV coverage KMYU (2.2 air / 12 satellite / 22+643 Comcast) also starts at 8:00 p.m. MT, with the game also carried on ESPN700 (7:00 p.m. MT pre-game) and La Gran D 102.3 FM / 1600 AM.

Real Salt Lake (2-2-3, 9 points, West t-7) has dropped two in a row after a five-game unbeaten run to start 2015, as the club’s 0-1 loss two weeks ago to the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps was just RSL’s fifth in the last three seasons, and marked only the third time in the club’s 383-game MLS/playoff/Open Cup/CCL history finishing the match with just nine men. DF Jamison Olave and FW Sebastian Saucedo return after serving suspensions in last week’s 0-4 loss at New England, while GK Nick Rimando (knee) and MF Javier Morales (hamstring) are both expected to return from injury.

Since the beginning of 2008, RSL boasts an 87-19-34 mark in its last 140 home games (all comps) in that span, during which it has outscored opponents by 154 goals (258-104), with a 71-14-31 reg. season mark (214/86), 6-1-1 CCL record (17/5), 5-2-2 playoffs (11/4) and 5-2-0 Open Cup (16/9).

The club’s 12-1-7 overall home mark a year ago was no doubt buoyed by the continued growth of season ticket holders, which surpassed 15,000 three weeks ago. While good seats remain for Friday’s match, RSL could extend to 20 games its active sellout streak with a full house against the Earthquakes.  Entering San Jose’s visit Friday, RSL has sold out 21 of its last 23 matches and 25 of its last 30 games, dating back to August, 2013.

How to Follow Real Salt Lake @ San Jose Earthquakes

•   Coverage Begins: 8:00 p.m. MT

•   TV (local): KMYU – David James & Brian Dunseth

•   TV (national): Univison Deportes Network

•   English Radio: ESPN700 AM (7:00 p.m. MT) – Bill Riley, Jeremy Horton & Brian Kamler

•   Spanish Radio: 102.3 La Gran D FM / 1600 AM – Nelson Moran & Fernando Hortal

•   Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide match updates

Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL v SJ Match Now Available Online

Following is the link to the Adobe PDF version of the MLS Game Guide in advance of Saturday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and Vancouver.

Click here to download the PDF version of the MLS Game Guide for Friday’s RSL-SJ matchup

Return of the Maestro, Javier Morales

RSL MF Javier Morales – now in his 9th season with RSL – provided the game-winner back on April 5 at San Jose in the club’s maiden Avaya Stadium visit, screaming home a volley off a free kick rebound for the MLS Goal of the Week late in the first half of RSL’s 1-0 road win.  Morales – now with 9 goals and 6 assists in 15 career games against the Earthquakes – volleyed home the rebound off the wall of his 27-yard free kick in the 44th minute, but it was pair of slide tackles midway through the second half to squelch a SJ counter that earned his teammates’ praise post-game. Morales now has 2 goals to go along with 3 assists in 5 games this season, playing a part in all but one of RSL’s 6 goals (Saborio PK v PHI on 3/14).

All-Time RSL History v. San Jose Earthquakes

In MLS and U.S. Open Cup competition since San Jose returned to the league in 2008, RSL has earned at least a point in 16 of the 21 contests between the clubs, dropping only a 1-2 match at Buck Shaw in 2009 prior to all three matches in 2012 and the 2013 finale.  RSL owns an all-time 10-7-8 mark against SJ in MLS and Open Cup play, including a 10-5-5 record since 2008 and a 5-4-4 mark in the Bay Area.

RSL’s win a month ago in the Bay Area extended RSL’s unbeaten run to four games in Northern California, earning points in 7 of the last 9 visits. The club’s all-time 5-4-4 record (11 MLS games, 1 Open Cup play-in match) on the road at San Jose is second only to RSL’s 4-3-2 mark at New England (RSL also boasts a 2-1-4 mark all-comps at Portland).

Busy May Kicks Off Friday; Open Cup / CCL Paths Determined

In addition to a total of SEVEN league matches during the month of May, kicking off with a two-game Rio Tinto Stadium homestand on Friday, May 1 vs. San Jose and Wednesday, May 6 against Los Angeles, RSL expects to gain clarity on a pair of non-MLS fronts during the month.

In mid-May, RSL should receive from CONCACAF the group assignments from the draw for the 2015/16 Champions League tourney, with two home games and two away scheduled during six possible matchdates in August/September/October.  Late in the month, RSL and the other U.S.-based MLS sides should receive an idea on dates/times/opponents and sites for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament, which sees the Round of 32 kickoff in mid-June for the Major League Soccer teams.

RSL experiences a pair of two-game road trips in May sandwiched around the much-anticipated visit on Saturday, May 23, from former captain/head coach Jason Kreis and expansion NYCFC, the new home for such RSL luminaries as Ned Grabavoy, Chris Wingert, Mehdi Ballouchy, Josh Saunders, Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Sebastian Velazquez.

The weekends of May 9 and 16 sees RSL travel to Chicago and Montreal for a pair of Eastern Conference road trips, while Wednesday, May 27 involves a return trip to LA – the club’s first since last Fall’s 0-5 playoff elimination at the Stubhub Center – and a continuation up the West Coast to Vancouver on Saturday, May 30, the first game on the new BC Place turf being installed for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Monarchs Earn First-Ever Win Wednesday Night v. USL Defending Champions

Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium, RSL’s developmental club, Real Monarchs, captured its first-ever USL victory, 1-0, over the defending league champion Sacramento Republic FC.  The Monarchs dictated the pace of play and generated several decent chances on the night, finally breaking through in the game’s 68th minute. MF John Stertzer – on loan from RSL – sent a ball from midfield into the box, with the clearance falling to the feet of RSL homegrown Fito Ovalle at the top of the penalty area. His shot from 22 yards out was redirected by FW Max Rauhofer for what proved to be the game-winning goal, with RSL GK Lalo Fernandez coming up with key saves down the stretch to preserve the shutout and give Head Coach Freddy Juarez his first professional win.

The Monarchs have this weekend off, and return to action on Saturday, May 9, with a road game at Austin Aztex – led by former RSL Assistant Coach Paul Dalglish – kicking off at 7:00 p.m. MT. Fans can watch that match via web stream on www.RealMonarchs.com

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