Jefferson Savarino assisted one goal and scored the other to keep Real Salt Lake undefeated at home and to come away with 3 points in a 2-0 win over San Jose Saturday.
"I think Savarino tonight showed his quality," head coach Pablo Mastroeni said. "I can't imagine a more complete game for Savarino. And to get it tonight in front of the fans, packed house, score goals, set up a goal – I couldn't be happier for him."
It was Savarino's first start for RSL since returning to Utah last month, and he made his presence felt. The home team had a pair of chances early off of corner kicks from Savarino, but both headers were sent just wide of the goal.
Bobby Wood went down in the opening 20 minutes and head coach Pablo Mastroeni was forced to sub in Rubio Rubin in the 20th minute to replace him.
Moments later, Savarino's corner-kick accuracy paid off when his in-swinging cross found the feet of Marcelo Silva, and the center back slotted home the opening goal of the night in the 23rd minute.
A goal from Savarino just before the half was ruled offside, sending RSL to the locker room with a bit of frustration. San Jose led the possession battle by a wide margin at the break, but RSL had the advantage in shots, ultimately leading to the 1-0 edge on the scoreboard.
RSL had a flurry of chances to start the second half, but all three shots were thwarted by San Jose keeper JT Marcinkowski. RSL forward Sergio Cordova went down with a head injury early in the second half,
The home team was up to two "expected goals" in the final 20 minutes, according to MLSSoccer.com stats, and Savarino did his best to make sure a real second goal came to be.
His free kick just outside the box in the 79th minute was blocked by the wall, but his determination paid off minutes later.
Even Utah Jazz and RSL team owner Ryan Smith had something to say about the golazo resulting from the first full dose of "Savarino Magic" at Rio Tinto Stadium.