Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy | MLS Match Preview

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Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy | MLS Match Preview
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Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy | MLS Match Preview

REAL SALT LAKE vs LA GALAXY
RIO TINTO STADIUM, Sandy, Utah
June 8, 2013 (WEEK 15, MLS Game #135)
7:30 p.m. MT (KTVA-ABC; TWCSN-LA/TWCD)

Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy meet for the second time this season when the Western Conference rivals match wits at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday evening. Real are now undefeated in three league games, coming off a 3-0 home win against the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend. The Galaxy are coming off one of their heaviest defeats in club history, starting their road swing with a 5-0 loss at the New England Revolution.

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REFEREE: Drew Fischer. AR1 (bench): Mike Kampmeinert; AR2 (opposite): Colin Arblaster; 4th: Jesus Cisneros
MLS Career: 13 games; FC/gm: 26.2; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 1; pens: 4

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: LA: Marcelo Sarvas
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: RSL: Ned Grabavoy, Lovel Palmer

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: RSL: Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica); Abdoulie Mansally (The Gambia); Luis Gil (U.S. U-20) Ö LA: Robbie Keane (Ireland); Omar Gonzalez (USA); Oscar Sorto (USA U-20)

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (23 meetings): Real 9 wins, 38 goals … Galaxy 9 wins, 35 goals … Ties 5
  • AT SALT LAKE (11 meetings): Real 4 wins, 19 goals … Galaxy 3 wins, 17 goals … Ties 4

FUTURE MATCH: 8/17: LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m. PT

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Goals from Mike Magee and Charlie Rugg in the opening 13 minutes gave the Galaxy a 2-0 win April 27 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • The visiting team has now won the last four meetings in the all-time series, including all three games a year ago. Those were the first road victories in the series since 2009.
  • Last year's win at Rio Tinto Stadium was the first for the Galaxy in Utah since a 3-2 win at Rice-Eccles Stadium on April 29, 2006.
  • The Galaxy claimed a 3-1 victory over Real in the 2011 Western Conference Championship at The Home Depot Center. Itís also a rematch of MLS Cup 2009 in Seattle, dramatically won by Real Salt Lake on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes.
  • Coaches record: Jason Kreis vs. LA: P15 W6 L5 D4 … Bruce Arena v RSL: P14 W5 L5 D4

LAST MEETING (MLS)

4/27: RSL 0, LA 2 (Magee 6; Rugg 13)

  • The Galaxy put the game away in the opening quarter-hour. After just six minutes, Mike Magee beat Real fullback Tony Beltran to a spot just outside the six-yard box and deftly headed a ball sent in from a free kick by Juninho past a helpless Nick Rimando.
  • In the 13th minute, Charlie Rugg doubled the Galaxy lead. After some quality hold-up play from Marcelo Sarvas, the midfielder sent the ball out to the right side to Hector Jimenez, who hit a hard one-time bullet across the middle to a streaking Rugg, and he hammered home the ball from close range for his first professional goal.
  • REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Lovel Palmer (Devon Sandoval 62) - Luis Gil (Sebastian Velasquez 73), Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy - Javier Morales - Olmes Garcia, Joao Plata (Yordany Alvarez 63).
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Brian Rowe - Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Greg Cochrane - Hector Jimenez (Rafael Garcia 89), Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Mike Magee - Jack McBean (Gyasi Zardes 53), Charlie Rugg (Michael Stephens 71).

REAL SALT LAKE

Real Salt Lake continued their homestand with a quality victory, easing to a 3-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL sits in second place in the Western Conference with 24 points from 15 games.

READ: RSL's early season loss to Galaxy still stings as teams prep for rematch

LAST MATCH

  • Real were three goals to the good before halftime. The opener came in the 16th minute. Robbie Findley hammered a shot that San Jose goalkeeper Jon Busch could only block, and the rebound went straight to the feet of Javier Morales eight yards out, where he calmly slotted the ball into the open left side of the net.
  • In the 33rd minute, it was 2-0. Morales took a pass down toward the right corner from Findley behind the defense and sent in a cross. Forward Joao Plata sold a perfect dummy, leaving the ball for Ned Grabavoy, and he hammered a left-footed shot into the upper-right corner.
  • RSL made it 3-0 five minutes later. Plata beat a defender in the box toward the left-side endline and sent a ball across that a defender was just able to poke back out, but the ball went straight to the feet of Findley just inside the left corner of the 18, and he curled a gorgeous finish into the right side of the net to seal the match.
  • RSL head coach Jason Kreis made one change to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire at Rio Tinto Stadium. Kwame Watson-Siriboe came into central defense for Carlos Salcedo, and Khari Stephenson started in midfield in place of Luis Gil.
  • REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert (Abdoulie Mansally 58) - Khari Stephenson (Luis Gil 68), Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy - Javier Morales - Robbie Findley (Olmes Garcia 75), Joao Plata.

TEAM NEWS

  • Real extended their undefeated run to three games – two wins and a draw – their longest of the season in league play.
  • "They feel good about the chances that they have been creating over the last couple weeks. Tonight was the first time when I remember that we finished just about all of our chances," said RSL coach Jason Kreis. "The ones that should've been finished, we finished. If we had done that in the Chicago game and the game on Tuesday night, we aren't even close to overtime. That's the difference between tonight and the games where we've struggled."
  • Javier Morales recorded a goal and an assist in a single game for the ninth time in his seven-year MLS career.
  • "It's been a long process him getting back to full fitness, and it looks like he's there," said Kyle Beckerman. "It is just a comforting feeling knowing he is going to be there game in and game out. We just need to keep it going; He's playing great. He's scoring goals, he's setting up goals. He is our piano player and that's what we want him to do, keep playing the piano."
  • Said Kreis: "I think it's pretty remarkable that Javier, at his age, and all the injuries and stuff that he's been through, this past week, he went 90 [minutes], 120 and 90. He is one of only two players on our team to do that, him and Beckerman. My hat's off to both those guys. That's not an easy task, and they both did extremely well through all of those minutes."
  • Ned Grabavoy scored his third goal in the last three games, matching his career single-season high, set twice earlier (2007, 2010). The three goals this season have doubled his total league output in five seasons with RSL.
  • "I think our midfield has shown a real commitment to getting into attacking plays. They've been into some dangerous spots and even the number of times they end up in the box," said Kreis. "…When we struggle I feel we don't get the numbers in the attack. When we create chances, we have three midfielders, two forwards, and typically one outside back and sometimes two. For me it just takes numbers, and that takes commitment from our midfielders and outside backs."
  • Robbie Findley scored for the second time in the last three matches, making a second consecutive appearances in the first XI, his first two starts since the opening five matches of the season.
  • "When [Findley and Joao Plata] are on their game, we've got two players who do so many different things. They have great control with the ball. They can bring it down They both have excellent speed behind and so defenders need to be wary of them. They both finish well," said Kreis. "When they are at the top of their game, they can go at defenders one-on-one and make things happen. They are both just very versatile players."

LA GALAXY

The LA Galaxy suffered one of the heaviest defeats in club history, dropping a 5-0 decision to the New England Revolution on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium. The Galaxy are in a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with 20 points from 13 matches.

READ: How do the LA Galaxy replace Robbie Keane? "Send me that formula," says Bruce Arena

LAST MATCH

  • The Revolution took the lead in 33rd minute. From a Revolution counter, Saer Sene cut inside and played a neat one-two with Diego Fagundez on the edge of the penalty area, capping the move by slotting home the return pass off the far post.
  • The lead was doubled in the 71st minute. After referee Fotis Bazakos overruled a call from his assistant referee, Fagundez played a quick free kick to catch out the visitors, finding Lee Nguyen. He entered the penalty area and tucked his effort through defender Tommy Meyer's legs and inside the near post.
  • Fagundez then grabbed a deserved goal of his own three minutes from time after an enterprising run from the right side followed by a give-and-go with Kelyn Rowe.
  • The hosts then piled on a pair in second-half stoppage time, with an unmarked Chad Barrett nicking a goal against his former team from the top of the box before Rowe offered the perfect ending with a sumptuous curling strike from well outside the area mere seconds before the final whistle.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made two changes to the team that cruised to a 4-0 victory against Seattle Sounders FC at The Home Depot Center. Tommy Meyer came into central defense and Hector Jimenez started in midfield, with Omar Gonzalez and Robbie Keane both on national team duty.
  • LA GALAXY (4-4-1-1): Carlo Cudicini - Sean Franklin, Tommy Meyer, A.J. DeLaGarza, Greg Cochrane - Hector Jimenez (Jose Villarreal 60), Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho, Michael Stephens (Robbie Rogers 66) - Landon Donovan - Gyasi Zardes (Charlie Rugg 88).

TEAM NEWS

  • The Galaxy's 5-0 defeat matched the largest margin of defeat in club history, equaling a 5-0 loss to the MetroStars on June 15, 2002.
  • "I'm going to kind of make believe the last 15 minutes didnít happen, but for the most part our backline played all right," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "The second goal, let's be honest, the referee made a big mistake and caught our whole team on the wrong side of the ball and that happens and that basically turns the game, but no excuses on our part."
  • Said Landon Donovan: "Sometimes it's a little more helpful to lose bad than it is to lose close. We played an OK 55-60 minutes and I thought we were the better team. We can still be OK with that part, but we have to learn that if we get down by a couple of goals then we can't just let things go like that. It's unacceptable and this team is fine. The game is over and we'll move on, but it never looks good to lose that way."
  • Gyasi Zardes made a second consecutive start up top, playing as the spearhead striker with Landon Donovan in an underneath role.
  • "He is getting better. The job of a forward is to score goals, and the one he had in early heís got to do better with that chance, but he was dangerous got a couple chances," Arena said of Zardes. "It's going to take a little time. He's still uncertain with some of his runs, but he's a nice project to have."
  • Said Zardes: "It's tough not having Robbie Keane with us but we had our opportunities. We had our chances to put some finishes away. In the first minute I missed one. It was a lot of chances throughout the game."
  • With Omar Gonzalez on national team duty, Tommy Meyer made his second start of the season, both in the last four games, coming into central defense.
  • "After the second goal, we left our back four out to dry a little bit, we left Carlo [Cudicini] out to dry a little bit," said Donovan. "We have to take responsibility, and especially me as a captain. I have to take responsibility, and our reaction needs to be better. Even if things arenít going our way, we need to do a better job."
  • Michael Stephens also made his second consecutive league start, his first since March 30, holding down one flank with Hector Jimenez inserted on the other.
  • "I think today we don't have to talk about the game," goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini said. "Today we have to just issue apologies to our fans, to the club, to those who follow us, and, personally, to my teammates. I think that losing 5-0, [there] is no excuse for that, so I think it's pointless to try to find any excuses. It's a bad day. We have to forget quickly and start again next week."
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