MLSsoccer.com Open Cup Preview: RSL @ SJ

Western foes begin qualifying trek towards LHUSOC

All-Time Record

The teams have never met in the U.S. Open Cup.

Game Info

When: 10 p.m. ET, Wed., April 14

Where: Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

What’s at stake?

Eventually,
a berth in the U.S. Open Cup. The winner of this match will face the
winner of FC Dallas-D.C. United for a spot in the full field. The
Quakes have failed to advance that far in their two seasons since being
re-formed in 2008. RSL last qualified for the field in 2006, when they
were knocked out in the round of 16 by the Colorado Rapids.

Last meeting

Real
Salt Lake blasted San Jose 3-0 on March 27 in the teams’ MLS
regular-season opener. Javier Morales jump-started the campaign with a
35-yard blast to open the scoring. Fabián Espíndola blocked an
attempted clearance with his chest to pot the second goal, then drew a
free kick at the edge of the box to set up Morales, who scored again on
a gorgeously curled kick to the far post.

Heroes and villains

Jon Busch vs. Pablo Campos:
Busch, the 2008 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, hasn’t played since landing
in San Jose after his surprising dismissal from Chicago just before the
season began. This is a perfect spot for him to make his Quakes debut,
even if it is with a defense that will definitely be replacing Ike
Opara (at school) and probably Jason Hernandez, who should get a rest
leading into the weekend. Campos is no guarantee for RSL, having been
sidelined all season by a pesky calf injury, but going up against his
old side -- San Jose traded Campos to RSL in July -- would be a good
way to ease the Brazilian striker back onto the field.

Ramón Sánchez vs. Will Johnson:
Sánchez, captain of the El Salvador national team, played a fairly big
part in the Quakes’ late-season surge last year, but he’s barely been
able to get off the bench for San Jose this season, clocking only 11
minutes late in the win over Chicago. Sánchez is expected to start
Wednesday, giving him a chance to make a good impression. Johnson,
meanwhile, will have to shoulder more of the load in the midfield. RSL
clearly outshone San Jose in that area during their earlier victory,
but starters Javier Morales and Ned Grabavoy will miss the contest due
to injury.

Stat that makes you go, “Hmmm”

The
Quakes have never beaten an MLS team in U.S. Open Cup play, going 0-6
in full-field matches and 0-2 in play-in matches – including a 4-0
defeat to RSL in 2008.

He said it

“We
have to back it up now. You can’t just say, ‘Well, we’ve won,’ then go
out and lose every game after that. Our next big game is [Wednesday]
night, obviously, in the Cup.”

-- San Jose coach Frank Yallop, on the springboard of winning the Quakes’ first road game of the season.