Earthquakes-Real Salt Lake Preview

Share This Story


It's been a few months since Real Salt Lake wasn't sitting in first place in the Western Conference standings, but it realizes it has plenty of time to accomplish its goal of winning the Supporters' Shield.

RSL looks to bounce back from a rare shutout Saturday night as it hosts the San Jose Earthquakes, who are winless in six straight MLS road matches.

Salt Lake (14-9-6) had been atop the conference since beating Seattle on June 22, but its 2-0 loss to the Sounders on Sept. 13 dropped it to second place, one point behind a Seattle team that has two games in hand.

It marked the first time RSL was shut out in 24 matches across all competitions since losing 2-0 to Los Angeles on April 27. It still leads MLS with 52 goals, and coach Jason Kreis is confident his team can rebound from the defeat.

"(When) you get to the end of the season, it's all about getting the three points when you're at home and getting the result when you're away," Kreis said. "That is what is going to give us the best chance to win a Supporters' Shield and do well in the playoffs."

Real Salt Lake is 10-1-1 in its 12 overall matches at home, including four straight victories.

"We have another home game coming up, so we have a great chance to have a quick response," midfielder Ned Grabavoy said. "We just need to try to get better and clean up some of the things we did last week. I know the soccer wasn't great, but I think we can all give a little bit more energy-wise and fight-wise."

RSL has had its way with San Jose this season, winning 2-0 on March 3 to end a three-game skid in the series before Javier Morales scored and then assisted on Grabavoy's goal in a 3-0 victory June 1.

Morales has six goals and six assists in 12 career matches against the Earthquakes (10-11-8), who are chasing the final playoff spot in the West and are 1-1-2 in their last four league matches after last Saturday's scoreless draw with Vancouver.

San Jose will be seeking a rare road victory, as it is 1-10-3 while being outscored 28-9 and shut out nine times away from home in league play. It has been blanked in five of its last six road matches across all competitions.

The Earthquakes enter this contest with some confidence, though, as Chris Wondolowski, Marvin Chavez and Shea Salinas scored in a 3-0 win over Montreal in CONCACAF Champions League play Tuesday.

The shutout marked the 73rd in the career of 37-year-old goalkeeper Jon Busch, who is 6-4-4 with six shutouts in 14 career matches against RSL.

"We're all kind of castoffs from other teams," Busch told the team's official website. "I think that's one of the big things that bonds this team together and the reason why we love hanging out together and we love being around each other on a day-to-day basis. Every one of us kind of comes from a similar scenario."

Wondolowski, the reigning MLS MVP who has scored five times in 10 career appearances against Salt Lake, is scoreless in his last four league matches.

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


Friedel expects more quality players in MLS Posted: Jul 19, 2014
Former USMNT and current Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper, Brad Friedel, expects mor...

USMNT's bright future for Russia 2018 Posted: Jul 19, 2014
Cobi Jones discusses some of the young MLS prospects waiting to take over the re...

Best Major League Soccer players in Brazil 2014 Posted: Jul 07, 2014
Cobi Jones tells you who Major League Soccer's standout players are from all the...

Major League Soccer's growth vital to USMNT Posted: Jul 07, 2014
Cobi Jones talks about the state of the MLS and it's impact on the USMNT.

Is Landon Donovan the best MLS player ever? Posted: May 27, 2014
Dani Behr and Warren Barton look at Landon Donovan’s record-breaking night and d...

More than Sports on MSN