Sandy, UT – Tonight was a perfect night for soccer at Rio Tinto Stadium as the San Jose Earthquakes came to Utah for the first time this season to play in front of 19,715 fans. Both clubs came into the night with 9 points on the season, and both left with 10.
Overall the match could be characterized as very sloppy for both clubs. Referee Sorin Stoica was on his whistle early and often, giving Kyle Beckerman a yellow card just 57 seconds into the match. Neither club was able to get any kind of momentum going through much of the first half of play. San Jose was able to go up a goal in the 19th minute of play when Chris Wondolowski was the recipient of an odd bounce off of Luke Mulholland after an RSL throw-in. It appeared that Wondolowski was off-sides, but no flag was raised by the assistant referee.
The frustrations for RSL got a little worse in the 41st minute when Javier Morales left the game with concussion symptoms and was replaced by Jordan Allen. As the half drew down it looked like Real was building momentum, but the half ended with San Jose up 1-0 over RSL.
As the clubs hit the pitch for the second half of play, the match picked up exactly where it left off. The constant play stoppage by the referee kept both clubs from obtaining any form of rhythm or momentum. This changed in
the 71st minute of play when Victor Bernardez scored an own goal to even the score at 1-1. This would match the final result of the match and would leave a bad taste in the mouth of both players and fans.
The night could have been much worse given the history of Referee Sorin Stoica. In the 31 MLS matches in his career, he has given out 15 red cards and awarded 19 penalty kicks. Although we may have seen more fouls tonight then we have ever seen before in an RSL match at 37, only 3 yellow cards were handed out. In addition to Kyle Beckerman’s yellow in the opening
minute of the match, Innocent recieved a yellow in the 21st minute and Jordan Allen in the 48th.
There were several bright spots in the match for RSL, but it is difficult to build any momentum when a whistle is blown on average every 2 1/2 minutes.
Real Salt Lake (2-2-3): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran; Jámison Olave; Elias Vasquez; Abdoulie Mansally; Kyle Beckerman (C); Javier Morales (Jordan Allen, 41′); Luke Mulholland (Sebastian Saucedo, 82′); Luis Gil; Alvaro Saborio; Olmes Garcia (Devon Sandval, 63′)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella; Aaron Maund; Wellington Paeckart; Demar Phillips
San Jose Earthquakes (3-4-0): David Bingham; Marvell Wynne; Victor Bernardez; Clarence Goodson; Cordell Cato; Chris Wondolowski (C); Fatai Alashe; Matias Perez Garcia (JJ Koval, 85′); Sanna Nyassi (Tommy Thompson, 75′); Innocent Emeghara (Adam John, 57′); Shea Salinas
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith; Leandro Barrera; Paulo Renato; Jordan Stewart
Up Next for Real Salt Lake:
Real Salt Lake hosts the LA Galaxy Wednesday, May 6th at Rio Tinto Stadium.