Keepie Uppie – Real Salt Lake Week 9

Real Salt Lake: Saborio

The Week That Was

With stop and go soccer, thanks to the ref trying to control the game, Real Salt Lake was able to sneak away with a 1-1 tie at home. Before the first minute had eclipsed, Kyle Beckerman was shown a yellow card. RSL struggled to get anything going offensively in the first 15 minutes but, RSL was able to push forward and started to make some chances. Chris Wondolowski got away, arguably, with being 5 feet offsides and did what Wondo does and put San Jose up 1-0.

RSL came out flat-footed to start the second half and failed to do anything offensively for a long portion of the half. Alvaro Saborio was able to pressure a chip, won by Victor Bernardez, and was able to force San Jose to score their second goal, this time an own goal. After six minutes of stoppage time, neither team was able to get anything working to find the game winner.

The Week Ahead

RSL has two games on tap this week. Wednesday they will host Los Angeles Galaxy and then travel to Chicago to play the Fire on Saturday. This will be the first of two games this year against Los Angeles. The Galaxy is a star-studded team that includes the likes of Edson Buddle, Omar Gonzalez, Robbie Rodgers, Gyasi Zardes, Alan Gordon, Juninho, and Robbie Keane for now. With Steven Gerrard looking to join the team later this year, this is a team full of international talent.

With Javier Morales gaining a concussion in the San Jose game, he is figured to be missed against the Los Angeles Galaxy. As for the second game, that is still up in the air. Chicago Fire is a very Jeckyll and Hyde type of team, you never know who is going to show up. Chicago started the season looking very poor, dropping three straight. After a three game win streak, they seem to be on a losing skid again.

Sizing Up The West

FC Dallas – 17 points (5-2-2)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC – 17 points (5-3-2)
Seattle Sounders FC – 16 points (5-2-1)
LA Galaxy – 13 points (3-2-4)
Sporting Kansas City – 13 points (3-2-4)
San Jose Earthquakes – 10 points (3-4-1)
Houston Dynamo – 10 points (2-3-4)
Portland Timbers – 10 points (2-3-4)
Real Salt Lake – 10 points (2-2-4)
Colorado Rapids – 9 points (1-2-6)

Player Spotlight

Alvaro Saborio – While the stats don’t show it, Saborio is still playing at a high level. Fans tend to get caught up in the stats of any given sport. Sometimes, the way the player acts away from the ball is what is key for the rest of the game.

While he only has one goal on the year, the own goal the San Jose Earthquakes scored on themselves this past weekend could be credited to Sabo. When the ball was sent forward, Sabo knew that he couldn’t win the foot race to get the ball. Sabo instantly pushed pressure onto Victor Bernardez, who made one  poor decision and scored an own goal. While the stat will never be given to Sabo, his dedication to run down the ball and force defenders to make poor decisions makes Sabo look great off the stat sheet.

Fun Fact of the Week

387 minutes between the last time RSL scored a goal until the own goal scored against San Jose. It was almost one month ago, 4 days short, that RSL found the back of the net. This was the second-longest shutout streak in club history behind the 557-minute streak in 2005. Oddly enough, the streak was started and ended, this time, in games against San Jose.