Real Salt Lake swept by San Jose Earthquakes in 3rd and final regular season meeting
San Jose 5 : 0 RSL
In California tonight, Real Salt Lake, the number two team in the Western Conference were again defeated by the home side San Jose Earthquakes in a completely lopsided affair.
The turning point came 12 minutes after the interval. Kyle Beckerman reacted with extreme indiscipline to Sam Cronin’s challenge on Javier Morales. Given Morales’ injury history, RSL tend to react that way to almost any rough challenge on him.
He went after Cronin himself as Morales lay grounded. It was retaliatory and referee Alan Chapman had no alternative but to show Beckerman a red card.
The Quaked decimated RSL 5-0 and head coach Jason Kreis had no excuses although seemed to be a little in denial about the cause of Beckerman’s ejection:
“It started with a really lackluster first half. At halftime down 1-0 I thought we were in the game with a chance, but everything fell apart with [Kyle Beckerman’s] red card. I don’t know why he decided to throw our guy out and none of theirs… Our team has lacked discipline this season and that especially showed after we went down a man. Some of our guys sleep-walked through the game tonight. It doesn’t get much bigger than this game and I don’t know how our guys didn’t get up for it.”
San Jose started with their usual starting eleven except forward Alan Gordon taking his place up top with MLS league leader in goals, Chris Wondolowski after Steven Lenhart was ruled out late.
Real Salt Lake did not come with its full roster, normal defensive starters Tony Beltran and Nat Borchers were not in the 18 and were replaced by recent signees Kenny Mansally and Kwame Watson-Siriboe.
However their usual tandem of offense, Javier Morales, Fabi Espindola and MLS Player of the Week, Alvaro Saborio were reportedly up for the challenge.
There were certainly many possible reasons for the complete and utter disaster of RSL’s outing in California tonight.
Certainly, Kyle Beckerman seeing red in the 65th minute was a major blow to RSL’s chances in this one. .
All in all, San Jose owned RSL this match, and the previous two meetings as well.
San Jose now has a clear path to the MLS Cup, holding a four point lead with a ame in hand.
RSL has obviously not recovered mentally since their long May-June break. The real question is if they can figure it out before the fall comes around and they might be watching the Playoffs from home.
The Quakes led in the 18th minute through Wondolowski’s first goal of his three.
Within six minutes of Beckerman’s red, RSL’s collapse began. Alan Gordon doubled the lead on the 63 minute mark and within 17 minutes, RSL had shipped three more.
A Simon Dawkins effort was sandwiched in between two further Wondolowski goals.
Winning coach Frank Yallop was very proud:
“I felt it was a strong performance from the guys. I felt good coming into the game. There was just a sense of confidence in the team and in the locker room before the game and it carried out to the pitch. There was no doubt in my mind that we were going to win the game.
I thought obviously the play of Wondo (Chris Wondolowski) was great and to get a goal from (Alan) Gordon and (Simon) Dawkins really helped in their confidence. I was pleased with the play of both (Rafael) Baca and Sam (Cronin), I thought they made it hard to play if you were Salt Lake and knocked the ball around very well.”
San Jose now have 40 points from 20 games while RSL remain on 36 from 21. Vancouver’s loss in Chicago removes some immediate pressure from them but they will be without Beckerman for the Rocky Mountain derby with Colorado Rapids who slumped to their third straight loss tonight.
RSL also had Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Jamison Olave, Kenny Mansally and Jonny Steele booked.
San Jose Earthquakes (4-4-2) – Jon Busch; Steven Beitashour, Victor Bernardez, Jason Hernandez, Justin Morrow; Marvin Chavez (Simon Dawkins, 69’), Sam Cronin, Rafael Baca, Shea Salinas; Chris Wondolowski (c) (Sercan Guvenisik, 81’), Alan Gordon (Khari Stephenson, 77’)
Substitutes Not Used: David Bingham (GK), Jean-Marc Alexandre, Ike Opara, Jed Zayner
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert, Jamison Olave, Kwame Watson Siriboe (Sebastian Velasquez, 74’), Kenny Mansally; Kyle Beckerman (c) (Ejected, 57′); Luis Gil (Jonny Steele, 52’), Will Johnson; Javier Morales; Fabian Espindola (Emiliano Bonfigli, 78’), Alvaro Saborio
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish (GK), Terukazu Tanaka, Paulo Jr., Justin Braun