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Storylines to Watch: RSL v. San Jose Earthquakes

31 May 2:50 pm

Storylines to Watch: RSL v. San Jose Earthquakes

By Sam Stejskal

Real Salt Lake is set to continue its home stand on Saturday night, when it will host the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Here are a few interesting storylines ahead of Saturday’s game:

Javier Morales: The boss of San Jose

RSL midfielder Javier Morales has had a ton of success against San Jose, registering five goals and five assists in 11 career regular season games against the ‘Quakes.

Morales’ domination against San Jose isn’t in question. Whether or not he’ll get a chance to continue it on Saturday is. The 33-year-old Argentine playmaker went the full 90 last Saturday and played all 120 minutes in RSL’s 3-2 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup win over Atlanta on Tuesday and could be in line for a rest tomorrow.

Ned Grabavoy v. Frank Yallop

Saturday’s match will pit RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy against his former coach and current San Jose manager Frank Yallop. Grabavoy played for Yallop in 2008 in San Jose before getting waived by the ‘Quakes on the eve of the 2009 season. RSL picked up Grabavoy the same day that San Jose dropped him, with the midfielder helping the Claret-and-Cobalt to its MLS Cup that same season.

Khari Stephenson faces off against former team

Real Salt Lake midfielder Khari Stephenson – who scored an insane goal in extra time on Tuesday night to give RSL the win – will be facing off against his former team on Saturday night. The Jamaican midfielder played for San Jose for two-and-a-half years before joining RSL this offseason, scoring eight goals and notching eight assists in 69 regular season appearances for the ‘Quakes.

RSL looking to make it two in a row over San Jose

Prior to last season – when RSL lost all three of its games against San Jose – the Claret-and-Cobalt hadn’t lost to San Jose in six-straight meetings and nine out of its last 10 games against San Jose.

RSL is looking to run its unbeaten streak over San Jose to two on Saturday; the Claret-and-Cobalt got a brace from forward Alvaro Saborio to beat San Jose 2-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium in the season opener on March 3.