Real Salt Lake will open its 2014 home schedule on Saturday, when the LA Galaxy will come to Rio Tinto Stadium for a 2:00 p.m. kickoff.
The Galaxy aren’t worried about Saturday’s match just yet, however, what with the small matter of a CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal second leg at Mexican club Tijuana to attend to tonight. The Galaxy beat Xolos in the first leg of the series last Wednesday, topping the Baja California club 1-0 at StubHub Center.
Tonight they have a taller order: Hold off Tijuana in a hostile environment south of the border. LA will need a strong performance from its full complement of players if they’re to advance past Xolos and into the CCL Semifinals, where they would face the winner of the Sporting Kansas City-Cruz Azul series. The first leg of that series would be played on April 1, 2 or 3.
Tonight’s LA-Tijuana second leg kicks off at 8:00 p.m. MT. Watch it live on Fox Sports 2.
Good stuff from Real Salt Lake color commentator Brian Dunseth breaking down RSL's 3-3 draw at San Jose on Sunday night's Real Sports Live on ABC 4.
Check out Dunny's take on the game above.
Real Salt Lake will take on the San Jose Earthquakes at 8:30 p.m. MT on ABC 4 at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday, with the Claret-and-Cobalt looking to put an end to San Jose's impressive 20-game home unbeaten run across all competitions with a victory in the Bay Area.
San Jose's last home loss came at the hands of Real Salt Lake, which got a pair of goals from forward Alvaro Saborio to down the Quakes 2-0 at Buck Shaw in the 2013 season opener. Check out both of Sabo's goals - in all their .GIF glory - below.
Here's the first:
Which was followed by a fantastic celebration:
And here's Sabo's second strike, setup by a marvelous pass from Kyle Beckerman:
It’s always good to see RSL players getting out in the community and brightening some days.
A couple of Claret-and-Cobalt players were at it this week, with goalkeeper Nick Rimando paying a special visit to a big fan on Monday and RSL midfielder Sebastian Velasquez visiting Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City on Wednesday.
Good on both guys – and all the other members of the RSL Family out there doing good – for giving some of their time to make a difference.
MLSsoccer.com has been running a fun video series over the last month or so, quizzing players around the league on their knowledge of MLS trivia.
The group hit RSL while the team was in Tucson for the Desert Diamond Cup preseason tournament, quizzing Nat Borchers, Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, Luis Gil and Jordan Allen on a variety of topics. Borchers did particularly well on the MLS leading goalscorer quiz, dominating the topic - in alphabetical order, no less - to correctly name 17 of the league's 20 all-time top scorers.
Give the video a watch above and check out Rimando's effort here.
Update: MLSsoccer.com has published Beckerman's quiz attempt. Watch it here.
The San Jose Earthquakes got a decent result in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal series against Toluca on Tuesday night, getting a 95th minute goal from forward Alan Gordon to tie the Mexican side 1-1 at Buck Shaw Stadium.
The Quakes generated the majority of the chances on Tuesday, but couldn’t capitalize, getting punished when Toluca’s Raul Nava rocketed home an 18-yard volley in the 67th minute to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Gordon pulled one back for the Quakes at the absolute death, heading home a Shea Salinas set piece to give San Jose hope heading into next Wednesday’s second leg.
Tuesday’s result should be enough for San Jose Head Coach Mark Watson to run out a full lineup for next week’s series finale in Guadalajara. That means that RSL could see a second-choice Quakes lineup when they take on the Bay Area side this Saturday night in San Jose, with Watson possibly choosing to rest some of his regulars with an eye on the second leg against Toluca.
Real Salt Lake has enjoyed a good amount of success in San Jose over the years, compiling a 4-4-1 regular season record at the Quakes. RSL won its last match at San Jose, getting a brace from forward Alvaro Saborio to top San Jose 2-0 in the 2013 MLS season opener.
Real Salt Lake put Saturday’s season opening win over LA to bed on Tuesday, beginning to prepare for this Saturday’s MLS match at San Jose Earthquakes with a workout at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Saturday’s game will be San Jose’s MLS regular season opener, as the Quakes were one of three teams to have a bye on opening weekend. Of course, San Jose had a good reason to take last weekend off, with the team avoiding what would’ve been a tricky bit of schedule congestion ahead of Tuesday’s first leg of its CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal series against Mexican Club Toluca.
San Jose is taking its matchup with Toluca very seriously, and Quakes Head Coach Mark Watson is expected to run out a first-choice lineup for Tuesday’s first leg at Buck Shaw Stadium. Regardless of their attitude, advancing out of the quarters will be a tough ask for the Bay Area side, which will have to get by a Toluca team flying high through two months of the Liga MX Clausura season.
Tuesday’s match could affect how the San Jose lineup looks on Saturday against RSL, with a good result possibly prompting Watson to give some of his starters a breather on Saturday ahead of next Wednesday’s second leg in Toluca. A bad result tonight will likely shift San Jose’s focus back to MLS play, and would probably prod Watson to put out a full team on Saturday against the Claret-and-Cobalt.
Long story short, RSL fans: Pull for San Jose against Toluca tonight. Not only will you be showing solidarity with a fellow MLS club, but you’ll also be rooting for RSL on Saturday, if only indirectly.
San Jose will take on Toluca at 8:00 p.m. MT tonight on Fox Sports 2. Brian Dunseth – everyone’s favorite color commentator – will be on the call with excellent play-by-play man John Strong.
ABC 4’s Real Sports Live was in LA this weekend for RSL’s season opener, covering the Claret-and-Cobalt’s 1-0 victory at the Galaxy from front to back with plenty of postgame content.
Real Sports Live’s Bill Riley and Brian Dunseth sat down with new RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar, goalkeeper Nick Rimando and defender Aaron Maund after the game, speaking with all three about their solid individual performances and the team’s impressive win.
Sunday’s Real Sports Live also featured a couple more pieces of Real Salt Lake content, with ABC 4’s Wesley Ruff sitting down for an in-studio interview with RSL President Bill Manning and Cassar and Dunny’s Crossbar Challenge airing on the show.
Real Sports Live’s postgame interviews with Cassar, Rimando and Maund are below.
Cassar and Rimando: