At 93 degrees at kickoff, near zero percent humidity, blowdryer like winds and wildfire smoke so strong in the air you could smell it, it was no surprise Saturday night to see both RSL and San Jose come out lethargic. It took RSL 20 minutes to get their motors running, but once they did, they controlled possession, for the most part, throughout the rest of the first half. They came out more energized in the second half and it looked like they might be able to break from the defensive chess match but it was San Jose who scored first, and last, to hand Real Salt Lake their third home loss in their last three home games and move to the top of the mountain the west with a 10-3-3 record and 33 points. One clear of RSL at 9-4-1 and 32 points.

Game Stats

Match Info
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Attendance: 18050

Goals
RSL - 1 (Morales 79)
SJ - 2 (Gordon 75, Wandolowski 84)

Cards
RSL - 2 Y (Beckerman 45+1, Espindola 90)
SJ - 1 Y (Stephenson 41)

Salt Lake San Jose
19 Attempts on Goal 12
7 Shots on Target 6
7 Shots off Target 6
5 Blocked Shots 0
7 Corner Kicks 3
11 Fouls 14
30 Open Play Crosses 11
1 Offsides 2
2 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
28 Duels Won 39
41% Duels Won % 58%
467 Total Pass 315
82% Passing Accuracy % 75%
60.1% Possession 39.9%

Nick Rimando (GK)

Call me a traditionalist, but I'm not a fan of goalies keeping possession for more than a touch or two outside the box. Landon Donovan burned Rimando outside the box when LA was in town Wednesday night, so I didn't expect to see it this game, but there he was, first five minutes, four or five touches outside the 18. Good thing nobody was near. His first serious challenge came in the 40th minute when Steven Lenhart fired a rocket near post that Nick was perfectly positioned to save. He was seriously tested five times in the second half and came up short on two very good shots on goal by Alan Gordon and Chris Wondolowski who both did well to beat their defenders and use them to shield their intentions from Nick until it was too late.

MIN 90
SHT 0
SV 4
GA 2
A 0
FC 0
FS 0

Cards: None

Grade: B-

Terukazu Tanaka (RD)

Tanaka came out a bit shaky but shook off the dust when he found his way forward in the 23rd minute to put a beautiful bending cross into the 18-yard box aimed at a wide open Alvaro Saborio who was unable to get a foot on the ball for what could have easily been RSL's first goal. His offensive play was his strongest suit, but his work rate was solid and his positioning was equal. Tanaka was subbed out in place of Luis Gil in the 72nd minute.

MIN 72
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 1
FS 0

Cards: None

Grade: B+

Nat Borchers (CD)

It wasn't too surprising that RSL's defensive line was less organized than normal given Jamison Olave was out of the game with a calf injury. Nat's veteran leadership has come in handy in these situations before, so one might have expected that to be the case Saturday night. But it was not to be. Nat seemed a step behind most of the night and as a result he seemed more focused on his own funk than organizing the defense. It looked like he might get by until Alan Gordon shrugged him off in the 75th minute to get his head on a free kick sent in by Ramiro Corrales for San Jose's first goal. Nat didn't play to his potential Saturday and RSL will need that to change if Jamison Olave will be out for any length of time.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 1
FS 1

Cards: None

Grade: C+

Chris Wingert (CD)

With Jamison Olave out with a calf injury, Chris played his old, pre-RSL position and the position he played much of last year for the first time Saturday night. And he didn't look exactly comfortable. Especially with Chris Wandolowski as his mark. Wando burned Chris a couple of times off the off-side trap and had two good first-half opportunities at goal that luckily never challenged Nick Rimando. Wandolowski was switched to the outside for much of the second half, but his 84th minute goal came while marked up on Chris whom he'd measured all night long so he knew what was needed to beat him.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 0
FS 0

Cards: None

Grade: C+

Tony Beltran (LD)

Tony was back in better form Saturday night, but not his best form, coming off one of his worst performances of the season Wednesday. He was moved over to the left side against his natural inclination to make way for Tanaka, who is right footed. He looked comfortable on the defensive end but struggled offensively when trying to send long balls into the box from the wing. That was never his strong suit to begin with, but against San Jose's stout defense, RSL had to play it's best soccer and while good, Tony's night on the offensive end was not great.

MIN 89
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 2
FS 0

Cards: None

Grade: B

Kyle Beckerman (CM)

Kyle was one of the few players to find the energy in the first half to jump-start the rest of the team. He was solid in the midfield but earned his biggest props for his leadership, helping RSL take control in the first half and even point the way to goal with the team's first serious shot in the 18th minute. He earned a yellow card in the 45th minute. The yellow made his second half a bit more cautious, and while defensively he was very good, he struggled to get into the mix offensively - partially due to his yellow card, partially as a result of Javier Morales playing much better and partially because San Jose was much more attack minded than they'd been in the first half and required more defensive attention from the defensive center midfielder.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 1
SOG 0
CK 1
OF 1
FC 0
FS 1

Cards: Yellow (45+1)

Grade: A-

Javier Morales (CM)

Javier started for the first time since May 9th and looked less comfortable than he did off the bench Wednesday night against the LA Galaxy. San Jose seemed to sense this and amped up their already blanked pressure, sending Javier to the ground numerous times in pain and earning a couple yellow cards in the process. Javi settled down at half and came out out on fire in the second half to pick apart San Jose's back line on numerous occasions, his best moments coming in the 50th minute when he sent a perfectly weighted ball into Ned Grabavoy for a near goal and his own shot in the 61st minute that was parried away by San Jose's Jon Busch. But it was his free kick from 22 yards out in the 79th minute to beat the wall and Jon Busch that screamed out loud "I'm baaaaack!" Javi's goal tied the game and gave RSL new life until Chris Wondolowski popped their bubble in the 84th minute with a nifty goal of his own.

MIN 90
G 1 (79)
A 0
SHT 5
SOG 2
CK 5
OF 0
FC 3
FS 4

Cards: None

Man of the Match.
Grade: A

Will Johnson (LM)

Will went up a notch in my book Saturday night when in the 44th minute he had a ball drop down to him on a tight left angle in front of the box and rather than do what 99 out of a hundred other players in MLS would do, and try to slam the ball home, he finessed the volley and nearly overcame the steep angle to find the right post. You can see Will's patience progressing and it's making a difference, but perhaps the old, trigger-happy Johnson might have served better in the 57th minute when Javier Morales sent a ball into the box that came off Saborio for an open shot that Will took a touch too many and ended up having blocked. He nearly made up for it in the 71st minute with a great move into the box, but San Jose's Jon Busch and Jason Hernandez came up big to deny not only Will but Jonny Steele's effort on the rebound.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 2
SOG 1
CK 0
OF 0
FC 1
FS 1

Cards: None

Grade: A-

Ned Grabavoy (RM)

Ned can get lost on the field sometimes. Which can be a good thing. Sometimes Saturday night, it wasn't as he struggled to put his print on the game. But he did find a couple of crafty moments where he got lost in a crowd, only to emerge in a dangerous position. His 50th minute diagonal run was just such a moment, and Javier Morales put a perfect ball that he was able to step over and pound near post with his right foot. Jon Busch parried the shot away, but the play earned RSL its first corner of the second half. Grabvoy was subbed out in the 59th minute for Jonny Steele.

MIN 59
G 0
A 0
SHT 0
SOG 0
CK 0
OF 0
FC 1
FS 1

Cards: None

Grade: B-

Fabian Espindola (FWD)

Fabi showed the most energy to start the game, making some terrific runs into the box, playing off Ned Grabavoy and Javier Morales to create some very good scoring chances, including one in the 21st minute where he took one touch too many to find the goal. His second half was pesky but he seemed to have expended his best energy in the first half and the second saw too many of his crosses off the mark along with the one shot on goal.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 3
SOG 2
CK 1
OF 0
FC 1
FS 2

Cards: Yellow (90)

Grade: B

Alvaro Saborio (FWD)

Saborio came out a bit lead footed to start the game and never quite found his best form, both in terms of work rate and shot quality. This became evident early on when Tanaka sent a perfect cross into the box to a wide open and waiting Saborio, but the big Costa Rican let the ball go between his legs. He did well to win numerous other opportunities at goal but Saturday was not Sabo's night aside from lackluster play and poor luck, he couldn't find the back of the net even in his better form moments.

MIN 90
G 0
A 0
SHT 6
SOG 2
CK 0
OF 0
FC 0
FS 1

Cards: None

Grade: B-

Jonny Steele (Sub RM)

Jonny added a much needed spark off the bench and nearly found the net in the 72nd minute but for a stellar defensive play by San Jose's Jason Hernandez who headed Steele's open goal shot over the crossbar. His defensive work rate in San Jose's half of the field was excellent and helped keep much of the second half play focused on the San Jose end of the field. He was a big reason RSL scored their first equalizer and looked like they might break through San Jose's stingy defense with 8 shots in the final 30 minutes of the game.

MIN 31
G 0
S 2
SOG 0
FC 1
FS 1
SV 0
CK 0
OF 0

Cards: None

Grade: B+

Luis Gil (Sub RD)

Luis came on the 73rd minute for Terukazu Tanaka to give RSL a more offensive look and he made a difference, helping the boys in Cobalt and Claret press hard on a flagging San Jose in the final minutes to earn five of their 19 chances at goal during his time on the field. While he wasn't spectacular, Luis' work rate and touch on the ball were very good Saturday.

MIN 18
G 0
S 0
SOG 0
FC 0
FS 0
SV 0
CK 0
OF 0

Cards: None

Grade: B+

Paulo Jr (Sub LD)

Paulo tried to make a difference the last five minutes of the game, but he came on too late in place of Tony Beltran to earn much of a grade.

MIN 1 (+4)
G 0
S 0
SOG 0
FC 0
FS 0
SV 0
CK 0
OF 0

Cards: None

Grade: Incomplete