Sebastián Jaime

MLS Snapshot: Real Salt Lake 2-0 Seattle Sounders (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): For the first time quite some time, Real Salt Lake looked like a team that had “it,” with “it” being hope, in a season-saving (for now) 2-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium. With their season very much on the line against the Sounders (Seattle entered the game sixth in the Western Conference with RSL six points back with just eight more games to play), Jeff Cassar’s side showed the kind of urgency they hadn’t really done thus far in 2015. After dropping three straight games by a combined score of 11-4, RSL jumped on the Sounders early and held on to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Sounders, on the other hand, looked completely overwhelmed and more their pre-Obafemi-Martins-returning selves than the bunch who hammered Orlando City SC last week. With the victory, RSL move to within three points of the sixth-place Sounders, who lost ground on fourth-place Portland, second-place Vancouver and potentially first-place LA (vs. New York City FC, Sunday) this weekend.

[ MORE: Previewing the other Week 25 games | How close was Lampard to joining LA? ]

Three moments that mattered

12′ — Morales converts from the sport, gives RSL a lead — Roman Torres was adjudged by referee Ismail Elfath to have handled the ball inside his own penalty area, though replays indicated the Panamanian defender may have been just outside the area. Regardless, Javier Morales did his part and RSL had a 1-0 lead.

19′ — Mulholland hits the bar, Jaime heads home the rebound — Luke Mulholland very nearly doubled RSL’s lead himself with a powerful effort from nearly 25 yards out, but he found only the crossbar. Fortunately for RSL, Sebastian Jaime followed up and didn’t fluff his follow-up header with a wide open goal.

73′ — Frei skies to keep Olave’s header out — Jaime, who was an absolute terror for 87 minutes Saturday night, nearly got himself an assist in the 73rd minute when he rounded a pair of Sounders defenders on the right wing and whipped in a cross that found the head of Jamison Olave. Stefan Frei was all that stood in the way of a 3-0 scoreline, and the big Swiss made the stop.

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Man of the match: Sebastian Jaime

Goalscorers: Morales (12′ – PK), Jaime (19′)

MLS Snapshot: Real Salt Lake 2-2 Columbus Crew SC

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The game in 100 words (or less): Columbus Crew SC’s tiresome run of having not won a single game away from home continued on Saturday night, as they settle for a 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium, though Gregg Berhalter’s side did come from behind twice in the game to earn a solid road point and solidify their place as a playoff team in the Eastern Conference (fifth place). For the visitors, it was more of the same old story — going down early and playing from behind suits their attacking mindset to a T, but continues to hold them back and forces them to settle for a point when three were possible with just a bit more focus and thought given to the defensive end of the field. Meanwhile, RSL sit in eighth in the Western Conference, three points out of the sixth and final playoff place.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of Rivalry Week ]

Three moments that mattered

36′ — RSL take the lead with set-piece magic — “Magic” doesn’t even do this exquisite set-piece routine justice. It went Luke Mulholland’s -> Kyle Beckerman’s foot -> Joao Plata’s head -> Olmes Garcia’s foot -> back of the net. Just watch this beauty.

46′ — Jaime keeps the play alive, gets rewarded — Sebastian Jaime would not let the play die when Emanuel Pogatetz looked to be ushering a long, bouncing ball back to goalkeeper Steve Clark. Jaime chased the ball endlessly, won it off Pogatetz and chipped it past Clark from just outside the penalty area.

62′ — Finlay grabs Crew SC’s second equalizer of the game — Kei Kamara fed Federico Higuain out wide, where the Argentine drove toward the endline, crossed to the back post and Ethan Finlay finished with ease. A classic Crew SC goal.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Ethan Finlay — Another goal and another assist for Finlay, who now has three and nine on the season, respectively. So capable of operating in all areas of the attacking third — out wide and through the center — he’s a nightmare to track and mark.

LINEUPS

Real Salt Lake: Rimando, Mansally (Allen 67′), Kavita, Maund, Beltran, Beckerman, Mulholland, Plata (Okwuonu 80′), Gil, Garcia, Jaime (Sandoval 67′)

Goals: Garcia (36′), Jaime (46′)

Columbus Crew SC: Clark, Francis (Wahl 81′), Pogatetz, Parkhurst, Jimenez (Barson 62′), Tchani, Saeid, Meram (Steindorsson 67′), Higuain, Finlay, Kamara

Goals: Tchani (42′), Finlay (62′)

Real Salt Lake 2-1 Sporting Kansas City: Unfortunate own-goal in stoppage time crushes SKC

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One game in 100 words: The action begun early in this one, with both goals being scored in the first half. The few back-and-forth sequences from the first 45 minutes began to dissipate as the final whistle neared. However, a stoppage-time surge of energy from Real Salt Lake resulted in favorable positioning and luck that handed Real a three-point gift. At fifth place in the Western Conference behind the LA Galaxy, Sporting had their seven-march unbeaten stretch snapped. Real, meanwhile, ended their three-game winless run and move up to eighth place in the West.

 

Goals

Salt Lake: Sebastian Jaime 15′,  Olmes Garcia 90’+3′ (Kevin Ellis OG)

Kansas City: Dom Dwyer 30′

 

Three moments that mattered

15’ — Jaime makes presence felt, nets goal — Javier Morales lined up for a set piece many yards outside of the penalty area and whipped a pinpoint ball into the box. Designated Player Sebastian Jaime jumped and headed off the bottom of the crossbar for his first MLS goal since signing with Real in August 2014.  Ecstatic to finally make his impact felt on the scoresheet, the ex-Chilean Primera Division striker celebrated with teammates following what was a crucial score for the Royals.

30’ —  Dwyer converts off sturdy build-up — Krisztian Nemeth engineered first-rate ball control with his chest and skipped a pass to Benny Feilhaber, eyeing room in the middle of the pitch, and the dangerous Dom Dwyer prepped to make a run forward. Felihaber then squeezed a nicely-weighted ball through the legs of Justen Glad to Dom Dwyer, who then stretched to blast his shot past standout goalie Nick Rimando into back of net

90’+3’ — Own goal for the win — It’s almost as if this occurrence was scripted to have the Jeff Cassar’s squad pull the victory out of nowhere with seconds remaining until stoppage time ran out. Wide open on the left side, substitute Olmes Garcia received the ball and edged forward into box to uncork a standard shot that escaped the outstretched leg of Jalil Anibaba prior to striking Kevin Ellis’ foot. The strike looped over a lunging netminder Tim Melia.

 

Lineups

Salt Lake: Devon Sandoval; Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Aaron Maud, Justen Glad, Demar Phillips; Luke Mulholland (Luis Gil 70′), Kyle Beckerman, Sebastien Jaime (Jordan Allen 69′), Javier Morales, Joao Plata (Olmes García 83′)

Kansas City: Graham Zusi, Dominic Dwyer, Krisztian Nemeth (Jacob Peterson 75′); Tim Melia; Jalil Anibaba, Kevin Ellis, Matt Besler, Amadou Dia (Saad Abdul-Salaam 90’+1′); Benny Feilhaber, Soni Mustivar, Roger Espinoza

2015 MLS season preview: Real Salt Lake

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  • Qualified for MLS Cup Playoffs every year since 2008
  • In 2014, finished 3rd in Western Conference
  • Knocked out by LA Galaxy (5-0) in conference semifinals

[ MORE: All of PST’s MLS previews for 2015 ]

Key player: Alvaro Saborio

60 goals in 113 MLS appearances, including 37 in 63 over his last three seasons. It’s near impossible to find a striker in MLS that can match Saborio’s consistent contributions. Only problem is, he averages 22 appearances per season, mostly because of a checkered past of injuries and partly because of Costa Rican national team call-ups. This year, the difference between 30 starts and 20 starts for Saborio in 2015, is the difference between RSL continuing their playoff streak and missing out for the first time since 2007.

Other names to watch: Javier Morales, Sebastian Jaime, Kyle Beckerman and Chris Schuler

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Head coach: Jeff Cassar

The job Cassar did in year one, keeping RSL from missing a beat after Jason Kreis departed for New York City FC, was Coach of the Year-worthy work. The system, the ethos, the identity of the club didn’t change and they were successful for it. Now, Nat Borchers, Ned Grabavoy and Chris Wingert, three long-time starters, are gone. Can Cassar now make RSL his own, rather than continuing where Kreis left off?

Outlook for 2015

It felt wrong to do it, but I’ve got RSL on the outside of the playoffs, looking in. That said, so much of the West’s playoff picture revolves around the Portland Timbers. The ceiling for Portland feels so much higher than the likes of RSL, Vancouver and others, but the floor is rock-bottom low. With RSL, we always know what we’re gonna get, so it’s always feel like such a “safe” pick.

Real Salt Lake announces Sebastián Jaime signing

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The P-1 visa is still on its way, but confident that obstacle is perfunctory, Real Salt Lake has announced the signing of Argentina forward Sebastián Jaime. Terms of the deal were (of course) undisclosed, but as General Manager Garth Lagerwey confessed in the club’s statement, the former Union Española’s acquisition will provide some needed help in the absence of RSL’s first choice number nine.

“When we lost Alvaro Saborio for a long period of time we knew we had to consider all our attacking options,” said Lagerwey, whose team was dealt a blow when the Costa Rican international broke a metatarsal while preparing for the World Cup. “We had scouted Sebastian Jaime going back to 2012 and decided now was the right time to bring him in.”

News of the deal started to leak out earlier this week, with Chilean outlets reporting the 27-year-old had ceased training with Union. After helping the club to two trophies last season, Jaime had parlayed his 44 Primera División goals into a move north.

“We are excited to add a versatile player like Jaime who can comfortably play in either forward role in our system,” Lagerwey said, describing a player that sounds a little like another Argentine that used to inhabit Rio Tinto: Fabián Espíndola.

If Jeff Cassar can get Espíndola’s production out of Jaime, Real Salt Lake will have their bridge between now and Saborío’s late-season return. Even if Jaime takes some time to settle, RSL’s new attacker joins Robbie Findley, Olmes Garcia, João Plata, and Devon Sandoval to augment what was already enviable depth at the position.