The scoring drought persists: Real suffers 3-0 loss at San Jose

For those pundits who thought that, prior to Saturday’s match, Real Salt Lake may just get off the schneid and score a goal, much less have a chance to win a game, Earthquakes forward Mark Chung took 78 seconds to silence the pundits in San Jose’s 3-0 win over Real.

His goal, a 12-yard thud into the hearts and minds of all RSL supporters, served as a stern reminder about the difference between hope and glory.

At this match, the San Jose Earthquakes (4-3-6) had all the glory and Real Salt Lake (3-8-2)-well, they can hope for a victory over the first-place Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday, back at home.

“We just didn’t come to play,” said RSL head coach John Ellinger, whose team dropped to fifth place in the conference with the loss. “We didn’t clear balls; we didn’t trap players. And when you do that, they get easy chances and they score goals.”

San Jose added two more goals, one in the 13th minute when Quakes defender Kelly Gray-recently acquired from Chicago last week-got past RSL defender Matt Behncke and slotted one in the net.

Later on, fellow San Jose defender got into the act, scoring on a header from a Ronald Cerritos cross. The Quakes’ wingers and runs along the flanks punished the central midfielders for Real time and time again.

RSL had some decent chances in the early stages of the second half when Jamie Watson, the wunderkind and No. 18 draft pick, subbed for veteran Dante Washington and had several impressive runs down the right flank. One, in particular, almost resulted in a goal when he beat his defender inside the penalty box and one-timed it to RSL forward Jason Kreis, who just missed tapping it past San Jose goalkeeper Pat Onstad.

One surprise for RSL was the return of Leslie “Tiger” Fitzpatrick and Seth Trembly. Fitzpatrick, the Trinidad international, and Trembly, who scored RSL’s last goal one month ago when they beat Chivas USA at Rice-Eccles Stadium, replaced Andy Williams and Leighton O’Brien in the second half.

After their insertions, Tiger and Trembly helped RSL regain their composure in the midfield, leading to several scoring chances.

But one player, Clint Mathis, Real Salt Lake’s colorful attacker, will miss Wednesday’s game due to a yellow card suspension. RSL’s scoreless streak has now reached more than 500 minutes.

“Things need to be sorted out,” Ellinger said. “We sorted them out last week (in practices) and then you come out and give up a goal a minute and 18 seconds into the game…I mean that should never happen. You have to get stuck in; you have to have an impact in the game. You can’t just stand around waiting for it to come to you.”

Real Salt Lake faces the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Rice-Eccles Stadium.

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