The teams have never met in the U.S. Open Cup.
When: 10 p.m. ET, Wed., April 14
Where: Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
What’s at stake?
Eventually, a berth in the U.S. Open Cup. The winner of this match will face the winner of FC Dallas-D.C. United for a spot in the full field. The Quakes have failed to advance that far in their two seasons since being re-formed in 2008. RSL last qualified for the field in 2006, when they were knocked out in the round of 16 by the Colorado Rapids.
Real Salt Lake blasted San Jose 3-0 on March 27 in the teams’ MLS regular-season opener. Javier Morales jump-started the campaign with a 35-yard blast to open the scoring. Fabián Espíndola blocked an attempted clearance with his chest to pot the second goal, then drew a free kick at the edge of the box to set up Morales, who scored again on a gorgeously curled kick to the far post.
Heroes and villains
Jon Busch vs. Pablo Campos: Busch, the 2008 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, hasn’t played since landing in San Jose after his surprising dismissal from Chicago just before the season began. This is a perfect spot for him to make his Quakes debut, even if it is with a defense that will definitely be replacing Ike Opara (at school) and probably Jason Hernandez, who should get a rest leading into the weekend. Campos is no guarantee for RSL, having been sidelined all season by a pesky calf injury, but going up against his old side -- San Jose traded Campos to RSL in July -- would be a good way to ease the Brazilian striker back onto the field.
Ramón Sánchez vs. Will Johnson: Sánchez, captain of the El Salvador national team, played a fairly big part in the Quakes’ late-season surge last year, but he’s barely been able to get off the bench for San Jose this season, clocking only 11 minutes late in the win over Chicago. Sánchez is expected to start Wednesday, giving him a chance to make a good impression. Johnson, meanwhile, will have to shoulder more of the load in the midfield. RSL clearly outshone San Jose in that area during their earlier victory, but starters Javier Morales and Ned Grabavoy will miss the contest due to injury.
Stat that makes you go, “Hmmm”
The Quakes have never beaten an MLS team in U.S. Open Cup play, going 0-6 in full-field matches and 0-2 in play-in matches – including a 4-0 defeat to RSL in 2008.
He said it
“We have to back it up now. You can’t just say, ‘Well, we’ve won,’ then go out and lose every game after that. Our next big game is [Wednesday] night, obviously, in the Cup.”
-- San Jose coach Frank Yallop, on the springboard of winning the Quakes’ first road game of the season.