(May 16, 2021)Hoang Pham scored in the 44th minute, and defenders Rodrigo Cardoza and Jorge Herrera were rock solid in front of goalkeeper Jeremy Zielinski as Real San Jose defeated Salinas Soccer Academy 1-0 at PAL Stadium in San Jose.
"Complete team performance. It was a tough game in which we showed a lot of character in grinding out a win against a very physically stubborn team," said RSJ Coach Dave Gold.
Zielinski set the tone for the RSJ defense as he made a big save in the 3rd minute when he came out to block a shot after a free-kick dropped behind the RSJ defense and fell to an open Salinas player. RSJ responded with a when Noe Zamarripa and Sergio Cermeno combined with a nice passing combination that ended with Cermeno narrowingly missing a 25-yard blast.
The teams shared control and creating half chances until RSJ took the lead just before halftime.
The play started in midfield when Pham rolled the ball to a tightly marked Travis Teixeira at the top of the left side of the Salinas penalty area. Teixeira got the ball across to Vladimir Ayala, who was alone on the right side. Ayala fired a shot that the diving Salinas keeper blocked; however, the ball bounced back to Ayala, who shot toward the empty net. Pham, who continued with the play he started, sprinted in to smash the ball into the net.
The second half saw Salinas push forward and RSJ counter in response missing multiple opportunities to put the game away. Defensively the organized RSJ defense kept the clean sheet.
Next Saturday, RSJ travels to Richmond to face the first place Sol at MLK park. Kickoff is set for 4:00 PM.