Recap: RSL 3-3 San Jose Earthquakes

RSL takes 3-1 halftime lead, but gives up two late goals to tie SJ

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Real Salt Lake (1-0-1, 4 points, West #2) picked up a road point at San Jose Earthquakes (0-0-1, 1 point, West #6) on Saturday night, tying their Western Conference rivals 3-3 at Buck Shaw Stadium.

RSL came agonizingly close to leaving the Bay Area with all three points, but couldn’t quite close out the Quakes, giving up a 95th minute goal to San Jose DF Victor Bernardez to draw 3-3. The Claret-and-Cobalt will return to Utah on Sunday ahead of next Saturday’s home opener at Rio Tinto Stadium against LA Galaxy.

San Jose took an early lead on Saturday, getting a sixth minute goal from FW Chris Wondolowski to go up 1-0. RSL hit back with three unanswered goals before halftime, with Captain Kyle Beckerman equalizing with a fantastic 11th minute strike before FW Joao Plata scored in the 32nd and MF Luke Mulholland tallied in first half stoppage time to give RSL a 3-1 lead at the break. Unfortunately, the Claret-and-Cobalt couldn’t hold onto its advantage, with Bernardez scoring in the 75th and 95th to give the Quakes a result.

RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar was forced to make one change to the lineup that beat LA last week, inserting Mulholland into the XI and pushing MF Luis Gil to the top of the diamond for MF Javier Morales, who did not travel due to a quad injury.

Wondolowski gave the Quakes an early lead, cleaning up from close range to open the scoring in the sixth minute. San Jose MF Shea Salinas curled in a free kick from the left side, and Wondolowski got on the end of it, tapping home off his thigh from inside the six yard box to give the Quakes the 1-0 lead.

Beckerman answered for RSL just five minutes later, blasting home from distance to make it 1-1 in the 11th. Plata had the assist, collecting just right of center and leading Beckerman into space in the middle of San Jose’s defensive third. The RSL Captain ran onto the square ball, slamming a booming left-footed shot into the lower-left corner from 30 yards out to pull RSL level.

RSL GK Nick Rimando – who was awarded MLS Player of the Week on Monday for his standout performance in RSL’s season opening win at LA – made a huge save in the 22nd minute to keep things level. Wondolowski had the chance, flicking a Salinas cross on frame from the penalty spot. The header looked ticketed for the back of the net, but Rimando came up with a miraculous save, reaching back with his left hand to paw the ball off the line.

Plata gave RSL a 2-1 lead in the 32nd minute. The tiny Ecuadorian collected a ball on the right wing, dribbling toward the area before finding MF Luis Gil at the top of the box. Gil played a one-time pass right back to Plata, who collected in the right side of the area and created space by faking a shot before slamming a low-right footer inside the near post from 10 yards.

Mulholland made it 3-1 in the fourth minute of first half stoppage time. RSL MF Ned Grabavoy collected a loose ball at the top of the arc, taking a touch toward goal and firing a shot on frame. San Jose GK Jon Busch couldn’t hold Grabavoy’s effort spilling the rebound into the path of an onrushing Mulholland, who slotted home from 10 yards out.

Rimando made another big save in the 49th minute, just getting a finger to paw San Jose FW Steven Lenhart’s flicked 10-yard header off the crossbar and out of danger. Rimando had another important stop in the 68th minute, collecting San Jose MF J.J. Koval’s re-direct of Quakes DF Cordell Cato’s volley from outside the box.

Bernardez cut RSL’s lead to 3-2 in the 75th minute. Salinas again had the assist, whipping a corner in from the left side that Bernardez headed inside the far post from the top-left corner of the six.

RSL FW Alvaro Saborio came inches away from restoring RSL’s two-goal advantage in the 76th minute. Plata played the Costa Rican international behind the San Jose defense in the right side of the area, with Saborio collecting and slamming an eight-yard effort off the near post with his first touch

San Jose kept pushing for an equalizer after Saborio’s near miss, registering decent looks in the 77th, 80th, 81st, 89th and 93rd minutes before Bernardez equalized in the 95th. San Jose DF Shaun Francis started the play, looping a cross into the area from the right wing. Rimando punched the ball away, but it fell to Bernardez at the top of the six-yard box, with the Honduran international collecting and volleying home inside the far post.

RSL will return to action next Saturday, opening its 2014 home schedule at Rio Tinto Stadium against LA Galaxy. Tickets to the 2:00 p.m. MT kick can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, over the phone at 801-727-2700 or online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets.

Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 3-3 SJ

  • RSL now has a 7-7-6 all-time regular season record against San Jose and 4-4-2 all-time regular season road record against the Bay Area side. With tonight’s draw, RSL has a 32-77-35 all-time regular season road record.
  • With tonight’s result, San Jose extended its home unbeaten streak to 21 games across all competitions. San Jose’s last home loss came at the hands of RSL, which beat the Quakes 2-0 at Buck Shaw Stadium in the 2013 season opener on March 3, 2013.
  • Tonight was the fifth time in club history that RSL has scored three or more goals in the first half and is the first time RSL has not been able to keep the lead for a win. Real Salt Lake now has a 4-0-1 record when scoring three times in the first half. The last time RSL scored three goals in the first half was against the Earthquakes on June 1, 2013 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • RSL FW Joao Plata has now scored in back-to-back games for the Claret-and-Cobalt. Plata scored his second goal of 2014 in the 32nd minute. His first goal of the season was the game-winner in RSL’s 1-0 win at LA Galaxy in the season opener.
  • RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman’s goal in the 11th minute was his 33rd career goal, and his 22nd for RSL. Beckerman now has four goals against San Jose all-time – second best in Claret-and-Cobalt history behind RSL MF Javier Morales, who has five regular season goals against the Bay Area.
  • Beckerman recorded his 298th career start tonight, moving into sole possession of eighth place in MLS history.
  • Newly acquired English midfielder Luke Mulholland earned his first start for the Claret-and-Cobalt tonight and scored his first goal for the club in first half stoppage time to put the Claret-and-Cobalt up 3-1 at the half. Mulholland made his first official appearance for RSL in last Saturday’s season opener at LA, subbing on in the 66th minute.
  • RSL DF’s Chris Schuler and Kwame Watson-Siriboe, FW’s Robbie Findley and Devon Sandoval and MF’s Sebastian Velasquez and Javier Morales were all unavailable tonight due to injury. Findley was plagued by nagging injuries throughout 2013, and he ruptured his patellar tendon in the MLS Cup final and had surgery a few days later. Schuler has suffered from a nagging foot injury for the past three seasons and is set to return to the fold soon. Sandoval spent the latter part of the season dealing with a broken bone in his foot. He reinjured it days before the MLS Cup final and was out for that game. He had surgery on it in the offseason and is still rehabbing. Watson-Siriboe suffered a torn ACL last year and is still returning to full fitness. Velasquez is dealing with a nagging hamstring injury initially picked up in RSL’s final preseason camp and Morales suffered a minor injury in practice leading up to the match.

REAL SALT LAKE 3–3 SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES

SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 2014

BUCK SHAW STADIUM

Goals by Period                   1          2          F
Real Salt Lake                       3          0          3                                                        

San Jose Earthquakes           1          2          3                                  

Scoring Summary:

SJ – Chris Wondolowski (Victor Bernardez, Shea Salinas) – 6’
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (Joao Plata) – 11’
RSL – Joao Plata (Luis Gil) – 32’
RSL – Luke Mulholland – 45’ + 4’
SJ – Victor Bernardez (Shea Salinas) – 75’
SJ – Victor Bernardez – 90’ +5’

Misconduct Summary:

SJ – Steven Lenhart (Yellow; Dissent) – 9’
RSL – Nat Borchers (Yellow; Foul) – 52’
SJ – J.J. Koval (Yellow; Argument) – 77’
SJ – Shea Salinas (Yellow; Foul) – 90’

Lineups:

Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Aaron Maund (Carlos Salcedo, 71’), Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (C), Luke Mulholland (Cole Grossman, 69’), Ned Grabavoy, Luis Gil; Alvaro Saborio, Joao Plata (Jordan Allen, 82’)

Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Abdoulie Mansally, John Stertzer, Olmes Garcia

San Jose Earthquakes (4-4-2): Jon Busch; Shaun Francis, Jason Hernandez (Khari Stephenson, 67’), Victor Bernardez, Cordell Cato; Shea Salinas, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (J.J. Koval, 63’), Sam Cronin, Atiba Harris (Alan Gordon, 63’); Steven Lenhart, Chris Wondolowski

Substitutes not used: David Bingham, Adam Jahn, Billy Schuler, Ty Harden

Referee: Jorge Luna
Assistant Referees: Eugene Mednikov, Pedro Trejo
4th Official: Miguel Panduro

Attendance: 10,525
Weather: Clear and 72 degrees