Real Salt Lake deals with L.A. loss, faces San Jose on Saturday
Sandy • It is onward and upward for Real Salt Lake, which takes on San Jose on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
It begs the question, however, of how RSL will react to one of its more painful defeats, one that snapped a five-game home winning streak in MLS competition.
"You can't do much training between now and then, so it's mostly getting the guys recuperated," RSL coach Jason Kreis said. "We'll have a chance to talk about what went wrong for us tonight and what needs to be different come Saturday. We'll look to see what kind of reaction we get. I know what reaction I expect, but we'll see what we get."
Real forward Fabian Espindola probably offered the most succinct explanation of Wednesday's surreal 3-2 loss to Western Conference rival Los Angeles Galaxy (5-8-2).
"We had innocent, stupid mistakes," said Espindola, whose two assists helped give RSL an early 2-0 lead. "After that, we just lost the game."
Two goals by Landon Donovan and another by Mike Magee stunned the sold-out crowd of 20,382 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Each score came following a Salt Lake (10-4-2) defensive mistake.
RSL has no time to feel sorry for itself, because San Jose represents the second of a stretch of three games against California-based opposition in eight days. The Earthquakes sit second in the conference standings behind RSL.
Morales may start
RSL midfielder Javier Morales has had his share of injuries, including a strained quadriceps, which has kept him out of the team's starting lineup.
Wednesday, Morales entered the game against Los Angeles in the 60th minute and nearly scored an equalizer in extra time.
Morales' appearance was his second consecutive 30-minute performance off the bench.
He also picked up a yellow card, which means suspension if he receives another caution in one of the next three MLS games.
Kreis believes his star playmaker is close to claiming his spot among the starters.
"He's getting there," Kreis said. "You know, I think that come Saturday we take a real strong look on whether or not he can start and at least give us 45 to 60 [minutes] and build him towards 90."
Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose
P At Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy Saturday, 7 p.m.
TV • CW30