After taking a week off during the FIFA World Cup break, Real Salt Lake (7-7-2) hosted the San Jose Earthquakes (2-9-5), earning themselves a point in a 1-1 draw, thanks to goals from Damir Kreilach and Danny Hoesen, keeping the teams on level ground.
Mike Petke fielded the usual suspects for the starting XI, save for Bofo Saucedo in place of Plata, who started the game on the bench. Tonight saw the return of the Beckerman-Kreilach pairing as holding midfielders, which hasn’t been the case for a few weeks as Petke has had to navigate through a heavy schedule.
RSL had the first great chance in the 11th minute when Albert Rusnak saw Corey Baird streaking toward goal, when San Jose ‘keeper was off his line. Rusnak sent a great through ball in, and as Baird collected he sent a long chip over Tarbell, but just went wide of the net, unable to open the scoring as early as he would have liked.
The 16th minute brought a scary moment when Justen Glad went down after a head-to-head collision with Florian Jungwirth. Both players were going for a header on the ball, but they missed and got each other’s heads instead. Jungwirth seemed to be ok, and Glad got up after a few minutes of examination by the trainer as Nick Besler started warming up, but Glad was able to get up and resume play.
Rusnak nearly bagged one in the 29th minute when he took a dangerous free kick from about 25 yards out after Savarino drew a foul just outside the 18 yard box. He sent it up and over the wall, but unfortunately just high of the crossbar.
Immediately after, play was stopped due to Justen Glad’s condition, as he was over near the sideline talking to the coaching staff. He then came off the field, making way for Nick Besler, as Glad went with the training staff for concussion protocol.
With a little more back and forth, the two sides weren’t really able to create any chances and the first half ended just as it started, deadlocked at 0-0.
RSL dominated the first half on paper, controlling 72% of possession and launching 12 shots to San Jose’s 4, unfortunately with only two of RSL’s shots ending up on target.
Kreilach got the game’s first goal early in the second half when the ball found its way right to him as he was standing in front of goal off a corner kick. Baird initially got a touch to it and sent a header in, and Kreilach was right there to slam it home with his head, scoring his second goal of the season and putting the home team up 1-0 in the 54th minute.
Rusnak nearly doubled the lead in the 60th minute when he fired a rocket from distance. The shot beat Tarbell easily, but just kissed the underside of the crossbar, bounced straight down in front of net and out. RSL was unable to collect the rebound and the attacking play dissipated. Replays show that the ball was dangerously close to crossing over the goal line, but it wasn’t enough to be counted as a goal.
San Jose answered back in the 65th minute when he grabbed a rebound off an initial shot that Rimando was able to save. The ball fell right to him and he was able to chip it right over Rimando, who was still on the ground after the save, to bank the equalizer and set the score back at 1-1.
Real Salt Lake earned just their second draw of the season, earning a point to improve to 23 on the season but staying in fifth place in the west for the time being, while San Jose stays firmly at the bottom of the table with 11 points, just below the Seattle Sounders.
54’ Damir Kreilach (Corey Baird, Albert Rusnak)
65’ Danny Hoesen
RSL: Rimando; Lennon, M Silva, Glad (31’ Besler), Acosta; Beckerman, Kreilach; Savarino, Rusnak, Saucedo (73’ Plata); Baird (80’ L Silva)
SJ: Tarbell; Lima, Ockford, Affolter, Partida (88’ Quintana); Eriksson (78’ Hyka), Yueill (71’ Alashe), Jungwirth, Vako; Hoesen, Wondolowski
12’ Damir Kreilach — yellow card