Real Salt LakeRSL
Wed, Jun 20
9:00 PM ET
LA GalaxyLA

Preview: RSL aiming to stretch unbeaten run vs. LA


June 20, 2012 (WEEK 16, MLS Game #133)
7 p.m. MT (KUCW-30; KDOC/KWHY)
Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy meet for the second time this season, under much different circumstances, when the clubs face off in a midweek tilt at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real went to the The Home Depot Center to open  the season, coming away with a 3-1 win against the defending champions. RSL now leads the Western Conference, unbeaten in seven games, after a 3-0 win at Chivas USA. The Galaxy put an end to their seven-game winless run last weekend, in a 1-0 home win against the Portland Timbers.
REFEREE: Kevin Stott. SAR (bench): Corey Rockwell; JAR (opposite): Corey Parker; 4th: Tyler Ploeger
MLS Career: 222 games; FC/gm: 25.7; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 58; pens: 45
REAL SALT LAKE – OUT: DF Chris Schuler (L foot bone stress response); MF Luis Gil (R knee strain); DF Leone Cruz (L hamstring strain); PROBABLE: MF Javier Morales (R quadriceps strain); DF Jamison Olave (R calf strain)
LA GALAXY – OUT: DF Andrew Boyens (L sports hernia surgery); FW Edson Buddle (R knee surgery); FW Adam Cristman (concussion); DF Omar Gonzalez (L knee surgery); MF Dan Keat (R knee surgery); DF Leonardo (R knee inflammation); QUESTIONABLE: DF Bryan Gaul (facial fracture); MF Hector Jimenez (L quad hematoma)
RSL: Kyle Beckerman, Alvaro Saborio
LA: David Beckham
RSL: Javier Morales, Jamison Olave
LA: Juninho, Landon Donovan
ALL-TIME (20 meetings): Real 8 wins, 34 goals … Galaxy 7 wins, 29 goals … Ties 5
AT SALT LAKE (9 meetings): Real 4 wins, 17 goals … Galaxy 1 win, 12 goals … Ties 4
  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Goals from Fabian Espíndola and Javier Morales, along with an own goal, overcame an Edson Buddle strike as Real claimed a 3-1 win to open the season, March 10 at The Home Depot Center.
  • Since a 3-2 win at Rice-Eccles Stadium on April 29, 2006, the Galaxy have not won in Utah. Real have won all three meetings lifetime at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • The teams meet again after the Galaxy claimed a 3-1 victory over Real in the Western Conference Championship last year at The Home Depot Center. It’s 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' records: Jason Kreis vs. LA: P12 W5 L3 D4 … Bruce Arena vs. RSL: P11 W3 L4 D4
3/10: LA 1, RSL 3 (Buddle 71 – own goal 73; Morales 80; Espindola 85)
  • The Galaxy opened the scoring through a triumphant return by Edson Buddle in the 71st minute. David Beckham swung a cross in from the right flank and Buddle coolly headed the ball into the corner of the net.
  • But the LA lead was short-lived as the Galaxy gifted the equalizer two minutes later. Sebastian Velasquez knocked a speculative cross in from the right flank. The ball took a bounce inside the box just as Sean Franklin tried to clear it, and it skipped off his shin and into the back of the net.
  • Javier Morales punched in the go-ahead goal in the 80th minute. The Argentinean was at the right place at the right time as a deflected ball fell to him inside the penalty area. Morales knocked the ball on frame, and Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders got a piece of it but was unable to keep it out.
  • Fabian Espindola put an exclamation mark on the victory when he buried a goal in the 85th minute on a breakaway after he was freed down the left flank.
LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Josh Saunders - Sean Franklin, Tommy Meyer (Chad Barrett 84), A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Landon Donovan, Marcelo Sarvas (Juninho 69), David Beckham, Mike Magee (Michael Stephens 70) - Edson Buddle, Robbie Keane.
REAL SALT LAKE (4-3-1-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Chris Schuler, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert – Ned Grabavoy, Kyle Beckerman, Sebastian Velasquez (Yordany Alvarez 89) - Luis Gil (Javier Morales 67) - Paulo Junior (Alvaro Saborio 67), Fabian Espindola.
Real Salt Lake stretched their league undefeated streak to seven games in impressive fashion, strolling to a 3-0 win against Chivas USA on Saturday evening at The Home Depot Center. Real lead the Western Conference with 32 points from 15 games.
  • Real opened the scoring in the 35th minute. From the midfield, Kyle Beckerman put a 35-yard pass right onto Fabian Espindola's head after he slipped past the Chivas defense, and his header left goalkeeper Dan Kennedy no chance.
  • Espindola added another in the 54th minute after a Ned Grabavoy through-ball him in stride. Espindola then left defender Rauwshan McKenzie waving at air with a step-over before slotting a close-range shot past Kennedy.
  • RSL added a third deep into stoppage time. A clever buildup was finished off when Beckerman slid the ball to substitute Javier Morales, whose quick turn found Will Johnson in the left of the area, and he curled a shot home inside the far post.
  • RSL head coach Jason Kreis made four changes to the team that posted a 3-2 win against FC Dallas at Rio Tinto Stadium. Nick Rimando came back from international duty in place of Kyle Reynish, Kyle Beckerman also returned in place of Yordany Alvarez, and Chris Wingert and Jonny Steele came into the team in place of Terakazu Tanaka and Luis Gil.
REAL SALT LAKE (4-1-3-2): Nick Rimando - Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave (Javier Morales 61), Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert - Kyle Beckerman - Jonny Steele, Ned Grabavoy, Will Johnson - Fabian Espindola (Paulo Junior 90), Alvaro Saborio (Yordany Alvarez 86).
  • Real Salt Lake’s seven-game undefeated run matches the longest in MLS this season, along with D.C. United (March 24-April 28; and Sporting KC (March 10-April 18).
  • “I thought the guys played probably the best match we’ve played this year. From start to finish for me, I thought it was the most complete match,” said RSL head coach Jason Kreis. “I thought they just did an excellent job on both sides of the ball. I’m really pleased that the guys showed they’re happy to be back together and chomping at the bit for another difficult segment of our season.”
  • Fabian Espíndola has moved into a tie for the team lead with six goals, with three goals in his last two games, after the third multiple-goal game of his MLS career Saturday vs. Chivas USA.
  • “He really has had a good couple of weeks. During this off period he’s worked extremely hard during the training sessions and scoring goals in every single session,” said Kreis. “ I’m glad to see that translate on to the game field, because it doesn’t always. … I’m really pleased that he reaped the benefits of all his hard work the last two weeks.”
  • Espíndola also has 32 league goals for RSL, the club’s all-time leading scorer in MLS competition. "He's something else," said midfielder Kyle Beckerman of Espindola. "He's able to finish a lot of chances that some other forwards can't. We hope he can continue that for the rest of the season."
  • Javier Morales made his first appearance in three matches, since leaving early from the May 9 match at Chicago with an injury, in the win at Chivas USA – and recorded his fourth assist of the season.
  • “The plan was that he was always going to play. It was a question of whether we would go between 30 and 45 minutes. I was pleased that we got to where we were at halftime and didn’t need to bring him on then. I was definitely wanting to only play him 30 [minutes],” said Kreis. “I think he looked pretty good. Of course he’s not 100 percent fit right now, and certainly not going to be at the top of his game, but I think as we go forward he has shown us over the last week in training and in some moments tonight that he’s definitely still got it, and we’re big believers in him.”
  • Real haven’t allowed a goal on the road since April 25 at FC Dallas, posting a third consecutive clean sheet away from Rio Tinto Stadium in the Chivas win.
The LA Galaxy put an end to their three-game losing streak and seven-game winless run, posting a 1-0 win against the Portland Timbers on Sunday afternoon at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy are in seventh place in the Western Conference with 14 points from 14 games.
  • The game's only goal came in the 61st minute. David Beckham swung a corner kick to the far post and Todd Dunivant ran onto the floating ball and headed it down, off the right post and into the net.
  • Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders made four saves for the club's first shutout of the season, in his first league match since April 21.
  • Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made five changes to the team that fell to a 2-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Josh Saunders came into goal in place of Brian Perk, David Junior Lopes replaced Bryan Gaul in the back four, Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas came in to midfield for Kenney Walker and Mike Magee, and Landon Donovan returned from international duty for the injured Edson Buddle.
LA GALAXY (4-4-2): Josh Saunders - Sean Franklin, David Junior Lopes, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant - Bryan Jordan (Kyle Nakazawa 80), Juninho, David Beckham, Marcelo Sarvas - Landon Donovan, Chad Barrett (Jack McBean 82).
  • The Galaxy are coming off their first victory since April 21, recording their first shutout of the season in the 1-0 win against Portland. A year ago, LA tied the MLS record with 17 shutouts for the season.
  • “Last season we played a lot of games like this where we won 1-nil and we kept the other teams in shutouts,” David Beckham said. “We need more performances like this and were capable of it, so hopefully this will be our springboard.”
  • Said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena: “When you get a shutout, it’s not just your goalkeeper; it’s the players in front of him. I think they did a pretty good job for the most part. And, again lets be fair—we had a couple of good chances to start the game. They had a good chance or two at the end of the first half. A timely save is critical. We had one in the first half.”
  • With Robbie Keane still on international duty, and Mike Magee, Hector Jimenez and Michael Stephens all serving suspensions levied by the MLS Disciplinary Committee, in all 11 players were not available for selection.
  • “We were fighting numbers today; we were very limited with who we had available,” said Arena. “We just had to gut it out. Our guys did a terrific job given the numbers we had available and the conditions today.”
  • Arena started Chad Barrett as the lone striker. Marcelo Sarvas returned to the lineup for the first time in three games, while Juninho also returned after missing his first league game of the campaign.
  • “I thought that Chad (Barrett) did a great job. It’s hard when you’re up there by yourself as a forward. We wanted to get those three (Beckham, Juninho and Sarvas) in the middle together on the field and I thought they were all fantastic,” said Landon Donovan. “We didn’t have a ton of options, we have some injuries, so that’s kind of the way it worked out, but I thought that everyone, regardless of the formation, just put in a real effort and helped to get a win.”
  • Beckham has recorded assists in three consecutive games and now has five for the season, setting up the lone goal against Portland, the first this season from a corner for LA (and second from a set piece).
  • “David obviously serves in an incredible set piece,” goalscorer Todd Dunivant said. “He put the ball in the back post. We kind of had talked about it halftime. We’d had a few to the front post and I said to try the back post. I found a little space back there and was able to nod it home.”
  • Goalkeeper Josh Saunders made his first league appearance since April 21 after completing the league’s substance abuse and behavioral health program.
  • “I was fortunate to get that time off where we had the two reserve games and those helped a lot,” Saunders said. “Winning those games, it gave me confidence and even the guys who came on the field late and played in those games it helped them too.”
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