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San Jose stifle RSL in scoreless draw

Posted on 26 June 2010 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake returned from the World Cup break Friday night, stumbling at home in a disappointing 0-0 draw to the San Jose Earthquakes. It was a miserable affair for both teams as well as the fans as the match turned out to be a lackluster affair full of squandered opportunities. While RSL created the majority of the chances, one would be hard pressed to argue that San Jose didn’t deserve the point as they were clearly the more organized side.

It would be easy for one to assume that the poor result and overall play was nothing more than fallout from the extended layoff. However, RSL coach Jason Kreis felt like the layoff was not the culprit. “I don’t want to blame it on the break or anything. Our energy wasn’t good enough in first half and it got a little better in second half. I felt like we let 45 minutes slip tonight with our play in the first half and it cost us.”

Both teams fielded similar lineups to what they were using prior to the break, with a couple of notable exceptions. RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman continued his stint on the bench as he recovers from a foot injury suffered nearly two months ago. Ned Grabavoy continuing to admirably fill the holding midfield role instead of unproven second-year player Jean Alexandre. Newly acquired midfielder Sam Cronin also saw his first start for San Jose, adding a new sense of bite and control to a midfield that seemed just a player away from being competitive.

At the outset of the match it appeared that RSL’s forward tandem of Fabian Espíndola and Alvaro Saborío would be too much for San Jose, and they continued their impressive form of creating chances for each other. As the match lingered on, this tandem became less and less effective, with Kreis pulling Saborío surprisingly early in the second half in exchange for Pablo Campos. San Jose appeared happy to sit back and rely on counterattacking opportunities, with substitute Javier Robles nearly stealing a late goal if not for a stunning save from keeper Nick Rimando.

While the fans and players have every right to be disappointed with the draw, some solace can be taken from a number of positives on the evening as Rimando continued his fantastic form, particularly with the match on the line. It was Rimando’s third consecutive clean sheet as he has now shut out opponents for 318 straight minutes, the second-longest in club history. The draw also ensured that RSL would add to their club-record undefeated streak at eight matches while bettering the team’s club-record home unbeaten streak in MLS action to 17 games. RSL will hope that next week produces better results, as they play a Friday night match against the New England Revolution before heading back on the road.

“At the end of the game, I’m patting Nick Rimando on the back and saying, ‘You just saved us two points and saved us from giving San Jose all three of them’,” stated Kreis. “I told the guys yesterday that all of the Western Conference games from here on out are hugely important. We need to be pushing other teams down and rising up.”

REAL SALT LAKE (7-3-3, 24 pts.) v. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (5-4-3, 18 pts.)
FRIDAY, JUNE 25, 2010 – RIO TINTO STADIUM

Scoring Summary:
None

Misconduct Summary:
SJ – Ramiro Corrales (caution; Tactical Foul) 58
SJ – Jon Busch (caution; Delaying a Restart) 60
SJ – Javier Robles (caution; Reckless Tackle) 85
RSL – Pablo Campos (caution; Tactical Foul) 87

San Jose Earthquakes – GK-Jon Busch; DF-Jason Hernandez, DF-Bobby Burling, DF-Ike Opara, DF-Ramiro Corrales (Capt.); MF-Steven Beitashour, MF-Brandon McDonald, MF-Sam Cronin, MF-Bobby Convey; FW-Chris Wondolowski (Javier Robles 74), FW-Ryan Johnson (Cornell Glen 68).

Statistics: SHOTS: 14 (Wondolowski 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Corrales, Glen 2); SAVES: 1 (Busch 1); FOULS: 10 (Cronin 3); CORNERS: 5 (Convey 3); OFFSIDES: 1 (Wondolowski 1)

Real Salt Lake – GK-Nick Rimando; DF-Robbie Russell, DF-Nat Borchers (Capt.), DF-Jamison Olave, DF-Chris Wingert; MF-Andy Williams, MF-Ned Grabavoy (Collen Warner 73), MF-Javier Morales, MF-Will Johnson (Jean Alexandre 89); FW-Alvaro Saborio (Pablo Campos 60), FW-Fabian Espindola.

Statistics: SHOTS: 13 (Williams 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Johnson 1); SAVES: 8 (Rimando 8); FOULS: 13 (Espindola, Morales 3); CORNERS: 5 (Morales 5); OFFSIDES: 1 (Wingert 1)

Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee’s Assistants: Corey Rockwell; Greg Barkey
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 84 degrees / Attendance: 16,216

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RSL earn disappointing scoreless draw with Quakes

Posted on 20 June 2008 by Patrick McShane

Cunliffe heads it away from Borchers©ASN/Julia Fizer

Real Salt Lake (4-5-4, 16 pts.) remain unbeaten at home after drawing 0-0 against the San Jose Earthquakes (3-7-2, 11 pts.) in a hotly contested Wednesday night match in Salt Lake City. RSL let a perfect opportunity slip through their fingers to gain three more points in the competitive Western Conference as they were unable to take advantage of a man advantage for the second half due to the ejection of Earthquakes defender, Jason Hernandez.

One would think that both teams have become familiar foes this season, having met two previous times in both MLS and U.S. Open Cup play. RSL has outscored the Quakes 7-1 over those two matches, leading many to think that this would be another dominant performance by the home squad. Instead, both teams did little to impress as RSL couldn’t convert any of their 24 shots and the Quakes appeared content to bunker down and clear when under pressure.

The lineups for both teams appeared slightly different to previous encounters, with Matias Cordoba making his first home start for RSL as usual starting midfielder Andy Williams is on international duty for Jamaica. The Quakes also made a noticeable change, employing the services of standout midfielder Ronnie O’Brien on the hard plastic surface of Rice-Eccles Stadium for the first time this season. While Cordoba played admirably and was effective in supporting the attack, it was the play and aggression of O’Brien the held RSL to the scoreless draw. “He is a veteran, a leader, and an offense threat, so anytime we can get him on the field it is great for us… In the last two weeks he has led us out there on the field” noted Quakes defender Kelly Gray.

Beltran and Cunliffe get physical, physical©ASN/Julia Fizer

Despite O’Brien’s exceptional contribution, one would have to think that he and the entire Quakes squad feel fortunate to have escaped with the draw. Not only did RSL triple the Quakes total shots on goal and corner kicks earned, but they also had what appeared to be the game-winning goal called back in the 72nd minute due to a controversial offside call against captain Kyle Beckerman. Javier Morales drove a corner kick into the box which striker Robbie Findley calmly headed down towards both goal and Beckerman. Unsure as to whether the shot was going towards goal, Beckerman slammed the ball into the upper right corner. The 10,333 fans in attendance erupted as RSL players ran off to celebrate while Quakes players argued with the linesman for not raising his flag. After nearly two minutes of chaos and discussion on the pitch, the goal was called back after a meeting between the referee and his assistant.

Cunliffe and Olave do battle©ASN/Julia Fizer

The reversed call appeared to inspire RSL as they continued to drive forward, almost stealing another goal minutes later. While running up the right wing, Findley drove a low pass to Morales just at the top of the box which he blasted immediately at goal, only to see the ball hit the left post and bounce to safety. Even little-used substitute and typical holding-midfielder Kenny Cutler tried to get in the action in the dying minutes, as he lashed an amazing shot from 30 yards out only to be barely tipped away by Quakes keeper Joe Cannon. In the end, however, it made little difference as the Quakes continued to withstand every attack and escaped with a much needed point.

Unfortunately for RSL, they will have little time to lick their wounds from this bitter result as they host league-leading New England Revolution on Saturday. New England also played Wednesday night, coming from behind in the 79th minute to draw 1-1 with Red Bull New York at home. RSL has to hope that the Revs physical midweek match plus travel time will put them in the perfect position to earn a needed home win against a quality opponent before heading to Kansas City next week. Kick off is at 7:30 pm MT and can be seen live on MLS DirectKick.

AT A GLANCE
Scoring Summary:
None

San Jose Earthquakes — Joe Cannon, James Riley, Kelly Gray, Jason Hernandez, Eric Denton, Ronnie O’Brien, Ramiro Corrales, Ned Grabavoy, Ivan Guerrero (Ryan Cochrane 51), Ryan Johnson, John Cunliffe (Adam Smarte 61).

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert, Matias Cordoba (Kenny Cutler 67), Dema Kovalenko, Javier Morales, Kyle Beckerman, Robbie Findley, Kenny Deuchar (Tino Nunez 57).

Misconduct Summary:
SJ — Jason Hernandez (caution; Reckless Foul) 25
SJ — Jason Hernandez (ejection; Second Caution) 44
SJ — Ned Grabavoy (caution; Reckless Foul) 78
SJ — Kelly Gray (caution; Reckless Foul) 81
RSL — Nick Rimando (caution; Reckless Foul) 83

NOTES
• RSL will most likely be without the services of midfielder Nathan Sturgis as well as strikers Fabian Espindola and Yura Movsisyan for the match on Saturday as all three are continuing to nurse injuries.
• As reported by the Official Real Salt Lake Blog “Behind the Shield” (http://rsltothecore.com) on June 11, RSL has begun to look at new players to add to the squad for the stretch run when the international transfer window opens on July 15. First to train with the squad was 29-year-old German midfielder Sebastian Schindzielorz and it is rumored that RSL will continue to be bringing in a number of players over the next couple of weeks.

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RSL remain undefeated at home by rocking the Quakes

Posted on 02 June 2008 by Patrick McShane

Real Salt Lake continued their stellar play at home this season, defeating the San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 thanks to a second-half scoring barrage led by Robbie Findley and Javier Morales. RSL has yet to lose a match on their home turf this season and continue to appear formidable on the plastic pitch at Rice-Eccles stadium.

Despite the high-scoring result, the match resembled “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” more than a juggernaut display by a dominant home team. In fact, the match was defined by two key plays, both of which took place in the first three minutes of each half. RSL started off strong when midfielder Kyle Beckerman earned a free kick, which was subsequently hit off of a defender’s arm in the box resulting in a penalty. Stepping up for RSL’s first penalty kick of the season, Morales casually took a right-footed shot right into the diving arms of Quakes keeper Joe Cannon, missing out on a golden opportunity to take an early lead and set their opponents on their heels.

{democracy}

The penalty miss appeared to deflate RSL’s spirits as they struggled for the rest of the half to mount any significant attack outside of a header by RSL forward Kenny Deuchar that bounced off of the post. Deuchar was particularly furious as he felt Quakes defender Ryan Cochrane held him in the box, leading to his miss-hit header. However, what appeared to be a tightly contested match changed drastically when RSL striker Findley came on for injured striker Fabian Espindola late in the first half.

Findley’s energy and drive had an immediate impact less than three minutes into the second the half when he collected a long pass from Morales in the far left corner. Cutting into the middle of the pitch past an unprepared Quakes defense, Findley launched a low, powerful shot past a surprised Cannon to open scoring. This appeared to trigger RSL back to life, as they continued to pressure on attack. It seemed as if all the weight from the early penalty miss was now off their shoulders as their midfield worked cheeky passes and combination plays on the left wing. This newfound aggression paid off in the 60th minute when Morales and Findley combined again for a second goal.

Finding himself with yards of open space in the middle of the pitch, Morales drove the ball forward to an onrushing Findley dragging three Quakes defenders with him. Noticing Morales was making an off the ball run, Findley placed a perfect one-touch pass into the box which Morales slotted to the right past Cannon. Often maligned for his heavy first touch, Findley demonstrated throughout the second half a deft feel for possession and vision, particularly when picking out Morales and putting RSL in the driving seat.

The match was all but over when Andy Williams earned RSL’s second penalty kick of the match by taking a perfectly placed pass from Morales and turned on goal, only to be dragged down from behind. Avoiding a repeat scenario, midfielder Dema Kovalenko took the kick instead of Morales, powering a goal past Cannon after reading his initial movement.

With the game seemingly out of reach, Quakes head coach Frank Yallop subbed in young Englishman John Cunliffe. In less than twenty minutes of play, Cunliffe continued to terrorize the RSL back four, converting on one goal attempt and nearly stealing another. Collecting a beautiful back-heel pass from Nick Garcia, Cunliffe dribbled between two RSL defenders and slammed a vicious shot past keeper Nic Rimando in the 84th minute. While the goal appeared to pay immense dividends for their morale, it seemed to be too little too late for the Quakes as the match ended with no significant action over the final six minutes plus stoppage time.

RSL look to continue their quality home form next week when they take on the Kansas City Wizards at Rice-Eccles stadium. In fact, five of RSL’s next seven opponents will be hosted at home. It seems that despite their struggles on the road, RSL knows they have some sweet home cooking at the moment. As Deuchar noted: “We’ve got a lot of good wins right here as well. We’ve got to concentrate on keeping this place a very had place to come to. Teams don’t like coming here, and if they know we are good at home they’re going to like it even less.”

AT A GLANCE
Attendance: 15,977
Weather: Clear -and- 80 degrees
Location: Rice-Eccles Stadium – Salt Lake City, Utah

Scoring Summary:
RSL — Robbie Findley 2 (Javier Morales 6) 48
RSL — Javier Morales 2 (Robbie Findley 2) 60
RSL — Dema Kovalenko 1 (penalty kick) 73
SJ — John Cunliffe 1 (Ramiro Corrales 1) 84

Misconduct Summary:
SJ — Jason Hernandez (caution; Reckless Foul) 62
SJ — Nick Garcia (caution; Tackle from Behind) 72
RSL — Kenny Deuchar (caution; Reckless Foul) 81

San Jose Earthquakes — Joe Cannon, Jason Hernandez, Ryan Cochrane, Nick Garcia, Eric Denton, Shea Salinas (James Riley 59), Ramiro Corrales, Joe Vide (Kelly Gray 71), Ned Grabavoy, Ryan Johnson, Jovan Kirovski (John Cunliffe 74).

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert, Andy Williams, Dema Kovalenko, Javier Morales (Matias Cordoba 79), Kyle Beckerman, Kenny Deuchar (Tino Nunez 85), Fabian Espindola (Robbie Findley 45).

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