Preview: RSL at San Jose Earthquakes

RSL kicks off 2013 at defending Supporters' Shield champs SJ

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will kick off its ninth Major League Soccer season on Sunday, when it will take on 2012 Supporters’ Shield winners San Jose Earthquakes at 8 p.m. MT at Buck Shaw Stadium.

Sunday’s match will be broadcast live on CW30, ESPN 700 AM and 102.3 La Gran D/1600 AM. CW30’s pregame coverage will begin at 7:30 p.m. MT with the 30-minute Ford Pregame Show. ESPN700 will begin its pregame coverage at 7:00 p.m. MT and will air an hour-long postgame show starting immediately following the final whistle.

CLICK HERE FOR THE MLS GAME GUIDE FOR SUNDAY'S RSL AT SAN JOSE MATCHUP 

Real Salt Lake enters 2013 looking to extend its active postseason qualification streak to six years. The Claret-and-Cobalt broke several club records a year ago, finishing the 2012 campaign with the most points (57), wins (17) and goals (46) in team history.

For the third time in four years, RSL will open its MLS season at San Jose. The Claret-and-Cobalt won its two previous season openers at the Earthquakes, downing the Bay Area side at Buck Shaw Stadium 1-0 in 2011 – a 2nd-half Kyle Beckerman goal and nine Nick Rimando saves holding up amidst a driving rainstorm – and 3-0 in 2010, sparked by a long-range Javier Morales blast, the first of two goals for the Argentine maestro that day.

Real Salt Lake struggled mightily against San Jose in 2012, losing all three games it played against the ‘Quakes by a combined margin of 10-2. One of RSL’s biggest issues in those three losses was keeping 11 men on the field, with three Claret-and-Cobalt players seeing red cards against San Jose last year.

If RSL is to get revenge against the ‘Quakes on Sunday, it will have to do so with a new-look lineup. The Claret-and-Cobalt traded away mainstays MF Will Johnson, DF Jamison Olave and FW Fabian Espindola this offseason and will be without regular starters MF Javier Morales (R Lateral Meniscus Injury), DF Nat Borchers (R Quad Surgery) and DF Chris Wingert (R Metatarsal Fracture) due to injury.

RSL – which will play its first 2013 reserve game against San Jose on Monday – will return to Utah late Monday night for just one day of Utah-based training ahead of its March 9 match at D.C. United. The Claret-and-Cobalt will open its home schedule on March 16 at Rio Tinto Stadium with a Rocky Mountain Cup presented by Mark Miller Subaru match against the rival Colorado Rapids.

Stay tuned to www.RealSaltLake.com and follow the club on Twitter @RealSaltLake for all the latest news and information on the team ahead of Sunday's season opener at San Jose. 

How to Follow Real Salt Lake at San Jose Earthquakes

  • Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. MT at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
  • TV: CW30 (Ford Pregame Show begins at 7:30 p.m. MT)
  • English Radio: ESPN700 AM (Pregame begins at 7:00 p.m. MT)
  • Spanish Radio: La Gran D 102.3 FM & JUAN 1600 AM
  • Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide match updates

RSL History v. San Jose

Real Salt Lake trails its all-time series with San Jose 5-6-5. The Claret-and-Cobalt has posted a 3-4-1 record in eight league games played in the Bay Area. That trio of victories against San Jose marks the second-highest road total in RSL’s club history, the Claret-and-Cobalt notching five wins against each of the Los Angeles-based MLS sides: two-time defending Cup champion Galaxy and Chivas USA.

RSL did poorly against San Jose last year, going 0-3-0 in three games against the 2012 Supporters’ Shield champs. RSL was outscored by San Jose by a margin of 10-2 last season, losing 3-1 at San Jose after having two players sent off on April 21, dropping a 2-1 result at home on June 23 and losing 5-0 on the road after going down a man on July 14.