Earthquakes-Real Salt Lake Preview

Real Salt Lake was frustrated after giving up a two-goal

advantage in a loss at home earlier this week. With MLS leading

scorer Chris Wondolowski and the San Jose Earthquakes visiting Rio

Tinto Stadium next, protecting leads becomes even more

important.

After another come-from-behind victory, Wondolowski and the

Earthquakes have the chance to overtake Salt Lake for first place

in the Western Conference on Saturday night.

RSL (10-4-2) missed the opportunity to pick up three points

after it suffered a 3-2 loss to Los Angeles on Wednesday. Salt Lake

took a 2-0 lead in the 24th minute, but the Galaxy stormed back and

scored the go-ahead goal in the 68th.

It was the first time in franchise history that RSL, which was

5-0-2 over its previous seven, lost after taking a two-goal

lead.

“It’s pretty bewildering to be up 2-0 and lose a game 3-2,”

defender Nat Borchers said. “We made some mistakes. We all know we

made some bad mistakes in terms of our possession, and they made us

pay.”

RSL is two points ahead of San Jose (9-3-3) in the West. The

Earthquakes cut into the deficit with a 2-1 victory at Colorado on

Wednesday.

“We’ll have a chance to talk about what went wrong for us

tonight and what needs to be different come Saturday,” RSL coach

Jason Kreis said. “We’ll look to see what kind of reaction we get;

I know what reaction I expect, but we’ll see what we get.”

RSL didn’t respond well in a 3-1 loss at San Jose on April 21,

giving up two goals in stoppage time.

The Earthquakes are playing their fourth straight game away from

home after improving to 5-2-1 on the road Wednesday.

Wondolowski returned after missing the previous two games while

on U.S. national team duty and scored the winning goal on a penalty

kick in stoppage time. An own goal tied the game for San Jose in

the 83rd minute.

It was Wondolowski’s league-leading 12th goal, and the

Earthquakes are 7-1-1 when he scores.

“Any time you’ve got the Golden Boot winner, it’s good to have

him on your side,” forward Alan Gordon told the league’s official

website. “He’s dangerous, he gets in good spots, and (opponents)

have to change their game plan when he’s on the field. So it

creates a little more space for other guys and we played better

with him, for sure.”

Besides having the league’s top scorer, San Jose is also

becoming comfortable with coming back from a deficit. The

Earthquakes are 4-2-3 when conceding the first goal and have done

so in each of the last five games, going 2-1-2.

“This is a never-say-die team,” Wondolowski said. “We keep

playing as long as there is time left on the clock.”

The Earthquakes haven’t scored in their last two games in Utah

and are 1-2-4 in seven all-time visits.