(June 13, 2021)Real San Jose came away with a hard-earned 1-0 victory over San Leandro United on a warm Sunday afternoon at PAL Stadium on June 13.
While the game's big strike, a break-away goal by Cedric Fossito following a chip over the SLU defenders from Jacob Muniz in the 56th minute, was the only goal, it was the defense that keyed the victory. This game marked only the second time all season RSJ had a healthy crew of defensive starters available, and the other was also a 1-0 home victory.
Returning from injury were Andrew Canepa, Rodrigo Cardoza, and Zack Epp all returned from injury. In addition, Nick Vargas, a long-time RSJ defensive star, made his 2021 debut at defensive mid. Goalkeeper Homero Arano completed the defensive overhaul. Together along with Ulrich Dingue and Luis Avalos, the defensive successfully soaked up the SLU pressure to secure a much-needed win that keeps RSJ in playoff position with three NSL regular-season games to go.
"It was great to have our defense healthy again and not have midfield players out of position," said RSJ coach Dave Gold. "Being healthy was key to the win a strong starting 11 and a great bench to call on at important times during the second half critical to getting a hard-fought win."
RSJ travels to Stockton and American Canyon before returning on July 4 to host Norcal Rush at PAL Stadium.