Three first-half goals saw Real Salt Lake coast to victory against San Jose Earthquakes in what was one of the stronger performances of the season.
Javier Morales scored the first goal of the night — his third of the season, matching his 2012 total — with an easy effort from the middle of the box. Less easy was the build-up: An interception from Tony Beltran got play moving, and Javier Morales picked up the stray ball, ran at defenders, played Findley on the wing, and continued his run-up into the box. While Findley took his time pulling the trigger on the shot, which was parried by San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch, Morales had floated into the box and was unmarked. The rebound fell right at his feet and he didn't put a foot wrong in scoring the goal.
Ned Grabavoy scored the second of the night after Robbie Findley, who was involved in all three goals scored, captured a long pass and found Javier Morales on the right flank. Morales's cross was dummied beautifully by Plata, and the unmarked Grabavoy hit a shot across Busch into the top-right corner. It was, as they say, sumptuous.
Robbie Findley scored the third goal for his second in three matches with a curler into the right side of the net. Joao Plata's left-sided run and ensuing cross didn't find an RSL body, but the rebound fell perfectly to the feet of Findley (his first touch not letting him down one bit).
Other things, of course, happened — Steven Lenhart was bloodied by a defender, though exactly why was difficult to discern from the stands; there was confusion about San Jose substitutes; and a number of yellow cards were dished out for perhaps hazy reasons. In the end, none of those things mattered much.
Chris Wingert exited two-thirds of the way through the match, giving Abdoulie Mansally his first appearance for the club since a brief cameo against his former MLS side, New England Revolution. One must look back to the beginning of April to see minutes for the left back. Wingert had played 120 minutes against Atlanta Silverbacks on Tuesday and 90 minutes against Chicago the preceding Saturday.
Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales also both went for full minutes in those two matches, acquitting themselves well by all accounts, and Kwame Watson-Siriboe played full minutes both Tuesday and tonight.