Categorized | Game Previews

Reeling RSL hope to get on track

Posted on 29 May 2008 by kali

Real Salt Lake will certainly be happy to be home this Saturday when it takes on the San Jose Earthquakes. Jason Kreis’ team will be looking to regroup after a road trip that resulted in three consecutive losses, including a 2-1 defeat at Dallas last Saturday and a 2-0 loss at Columbus on Tuesday in U.S. Open Cup qualifying. Rice-Eccles Stadium certainly seems to be the perfect place to start over, as RSL is undefeated at home so far in 2008.

Meanwhile, San Jose will be hoping to gain some momentum in the Western Conference standings. As an expansion side, the Quakes struggled early in the season but earned a critical win last Thursday, defeating the Houston Dynamo 2-1 at home.

Although Salt Lake and San Jose have not yet met in league play this season, they aren’t wholly unfamiliar with each other. RSL defeated the Quakes 4-0 in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play-in match in April, but neither team used its full starting lineup in that contest.

Real will be without defender Ian Joy, who was suspended after being sent off in the loss at Dallas. Tony Beltran, who had taken Joy’s place while Joy was injured, was away on U.S. U-23 duty but will likely return to the starting lineup against the San Jose. Meanwhile, reserve goalkeeper Chris Seitz, who also played with the U-23s in Toulon last week, is “on call” for the senior U.S. team during its run of friendly matches over the next several weeks.

Injuries have also hit Salt Lake hard over the last several weeks. Striker Yura Movsisyan and midfielder Nathan Sturgis are still recovering from long-term injuries and are both out for Saturday’s match. Meanwhile, midfielder Javier Morales, striker Fabian Espindola, and defender Jamison Olave are struggling with minor issues but are considered probable.

San Jose strikers Jean Philippe Peguero and Gavin Glinton are both out with injuries, while defender Jay Ayres is still recovering from the facial fracture he sustained in Salt Lake City in April. With striker Kei Kamara away with the Sierra Leone national team and Ivan Guerrero with the Honduran team for World Cup qualifying, Quakes coach Frank Yallop will be forced to make some lineup adjustments. Jovan Kirovski, who was recently acquired from the Colorado Rapids, and Ryan Johnson, a former Salt Lake player who normally plays in midfield, are likely to start up front.

The game begins at 7 pm MT and will be aired live on Fox Soccer Channel.

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