U.S. Open Cup qualifier: It's Open season for RSL in rout
Real Salt Lake had little trouble dispatching San Jose during Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup qualifying game. The 4-0 final was the first of three possible matches RSL needs for the right to enter the official tournament.
Considering the amount of experience the Earthquakes put out on the Rice Eccles Stadium turf, it would have been real news had RSL not been the dominant aggressor.
So, not only was it a good workout to prepare for Saturday's visit from the Los Angeles Galaxy and David Beckham; it was an opportunity for RSL coach Jason Kreis to find out something about a few of his reserves as well, including Argentine midfielder Matias Cordoba.
"I've been waiting for an opportunity," Cordoba said through an interpreter. "I probably didn't get a chance up to now because there were people who were doing better than I was. But I just kept working. It was a new experience for me because I had never played on an artificial field before. It's quicker."
Nine of San Jose's starting 11 accounted for a grand total of 150 minutes of play in 2008. One of those, Jay Ayes, left the game after 10 minutes after knocking heads with teammate Ryan Cochran, who was also taken to the locker room with blood flowing from a wound on his forehead.
The final insult to San Jose's performance came in the form of a snow squall that swept through the stadium midway through the second half. The storm was bad enough to replace the white game ball with the bad-weather orange ball.
"We were very pleased with the way our team's mentality was," Kreis said. "It would have been easy for them to come out a little bit flat. These open cup games can be difficult at times. Our guys' mentality was fantastic. They did all the things we asked of them in the first 20 minutes."
The effort was rewarded with three goals midway through the first half. Kyle Beckerman scored twice, including the first of two goals in the 33rd minute, from about 29 yards out.
"I didn't think I hit it hard enough," said Beckerman, who also scored in the 21st minute. "After it was going, it was like [goalie Preston Burpo] couldn't really see it and it caught him off guard."
The third goal, from Yura Movsisyan, came seconds after Beckerman's second.
"It was really something," Beckerman said. "I was like, 'Whoa, we're about to score again.' "
Andy Williams closed out the scoring with a snow-covered goal in the 90th minute.
It was the second consecutive year that RSL won its U.S. Open Cup play-in game. The result was much easier than last year's 2-1 victory against Kansas City in overtime.
RSL 4, San Jose 0
* Midfielder Kyle Beckerman scores two first half goals as RSL takes a 3-0 lead at the half.
* RSL scores two goals (by Beckerman and Yura Movsisyan) in the 33rd minute.
* RSL's next U.S. Open Cup qualifier is May 27 vs. Columbus.