Man of the Match:
Alan Gordon (pictured) with the late-game heroics again? Are you kidding me? And he did it twice this time? Are you kidding me? ‘Tis true, the San Jose Earthquakes’ substitute extraordinaire keeps getting it done in the waning minutes for Frank Yallop’s team. This go-round Gordon took advantage of some sloppy work in RSL’s defense to put his team ahead with a 74th minute header. And when the home side equalized, Gordon flicked on a throw-in toward Chris Wondolowski, who turned that chances into the game-winning goal.
Packaged for take-away:
- A lot of the game is just about opportunism. Real Salt Lake created 2-3 times the number of chances San Jose did; the visitors left with the points because they were more ruthless in and around goal.
- Real Salt Lake has lost two in a row at home, a real rarity for the Jason Kreis’ team.
- Jason Hernandez was Jason of the Spot several times for San Jose. The Earthquakes’ center back could easily have been Man of the Match, as well.
- Chris Wingert usually an outside back, played centrally along the RSL back line for the injured Jamison Olave. Tony Beltran, usually stationed on the right, played along the left for Kreis. The back line adjustments certainly showed as Steven Lenhart and Wondolowski found gaps in the RSL back line that usually aren’t there, or that are harder to locate, at least.
- Going just a little more defensively, San Jose manager Frank Yallop assigned Ramiro Corrales to a left midfield role rather than a spot in the back.
- It’s really a testament to poor communication between match officials (including the fourth official) that more of Lenhart’s off-the-ball shenanigans aren’t seen and/or punished. That’s why those guys are there – or one of the reasons, anyway.
- Speaking of officials, referee Jair Marrufo completely blew it in the 35th minute, missing a penalty kick or at very least a foul right at the 18 as Corrales tripped Real Salt Lake playmaker Javier Morales from behind. He also allowed San Jose midfielder Khari Stephenson to kick and hack with relative impunity.
- Morales, making only his seventh start this year in an injury-pocked season, ran the RSL offense with the tactical and technical proficiency of a man who has been playing all year. Thanks largely to Morales, the home team controlled most of the possession and definitely created that greater number of high-quality chances. On the other hand, San Jose did enough to create a good chance here and there, which is what the road team needs to do.
- Earthquakes left back Justin Morrow made the defensive play of the night, launching himself to knock a ball out of goal after RSL’s Fabian Espindola had rounded San Jose ‘keeper Jon Busch. (Busch was back in the lineup after serving his one-game league-mandated disciplinary suspension.) Morrow, like Hernandez in the middle, was excellent Saturday.
- Will Johnson also got around Busch, but failed to get a shot away as Hernandez recovered in a goal-mouth mashup in time to thwart the shot. Later in the half, Hernandez was on the goal line to knock another shot away. So Busch was rounded twice and beaten one other time without actually conceding a goal, thanks to heads-up defending.
- RSL striker Alvaro Saborio was quite active inside the penalty area for the home team, making both San Jose center backs work hard. On the other end, Marvin Chavez made life hard on RSL makeshift left back Beltran.
- RSL manager Jason Kreis had hoped to get 50-60 minutes from Morales but got the full 90.
Marek Hamsik hit a ball with such momentous force that we’re not sure it rotated more than three full turns on its 20-yard flight into the goal.
The Slovakia star’s goal equalized a friendly with Germany at 1, and Repre went on to hammer the reigning World Cup champs by a 3-1 score.
[ USMNT-BOLIVIA: Recap | 3 things | Player ratings ]
I mean, really, what a hit. Bernd Leno had little hope of touching it.
Longtime Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick spoke glowingly of new boss Jose Mourinho amidst rumors he’ll sign a one-year extension with the Old Trafford set.
Carrick, 34, joined United from Tottenham in 2006, and has won major trophy after major trophy with the club. He wants more, and he doesn’t care how.
[ MORE: United hires Mourinho | Things he must do ]
The 34-times capped English midfielder has 421 appearances for United, and could fit neatly into a Mourinho system.
From The Mirror:
“You have to be number one and winning trophies and if you can do that with a bit of style and a bit of flair then that is the perfect match but first and foremost it is about winning and getting back on top.
“There is going to be change without a doubt because he is coming in and he is his own man.
“He has got an unbelievable track record and everyone is looking for quick results and that’s how it is.”
We have to wonder how the United fans who booed Louis Van Gaal after every turn will react to these comments, although wins cure everything, right?
There were many rumors than N'Golo Kante had a deal that would allow him to leave Leicester City, but the midfielder doesn’t sound like the leaving type.
According to L’Equipe, Kante isn’t looking to leave the Premier League champions, and is content to play in the UEFA Champions League with the Foxes next season.
[ UCL: Real Madrid wins | CR7 reacts | Bale, too ]
He’s been tipped to move to Real Madrid and Manchester City amongst other potential stops.
“For now, I am happy at Leicester,” he said. “I do not pay too much attention to everything that is said.”
That vibe is running through the headlines today, as UEFA Champions League winners Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez say they want to stay at Real Madrid, and Isco is also happy to come back to the Bernabeu to make a run at a first La Liga title since the 2011-12 season.
Steve Bruce saw Hull City go down to the Championship, and pulled the Tigers right back up the Premier League.
Hull won promotion at the first time of asking after defeating Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 on Saturday, but Bruce wants to see stability at the KC Stadium.
[ USMNT-BOLIVIA: Recap | 3 things | Player ratings ]
The club remains up for sale after owner Assem Allam saw his request to change the team name to Hull Tigers denied by the English Football Association.
From the BBC:
“I’ll sit down with the owners. It’s not often you walk away from the Premier League – that’s where I want to manage,” Bruce told BBC Radio 5 live.
“But I have to be given certain assurances that we’re all moving in the right direction.
“I keep hearing too many stories that there’s a takeover imminent. We’ll see what develops,” added the 55-year-old.
The longtime Manchester United back has been around the managerial block a few times, and it’d be nice to see him stay at Hull for the long term. He’s led the Tigers into the Premier League on two occasions, and is — seriously — the seventh longest tenured manager in the Football League. He would enter the Premier League as the second-longest serving manager, to Arsene Wenger.