LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake | 2017 MLS Match Preview
LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake
2017 MLS Regular Season - Week 19
StubHub Center - Carson, Calif.
Tuesday, July 4 – 10:30 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE
It's an MLS tradition. Together with the Colorado Rapids, the LA Galaxy have regularly hosted July 4 matches since the start of the league in 1996. For the first time it will be Real Salt Lake looking to ruin the festivities in Southern California this year, but they have their work cut out given the Galaxy are 12W-5L-4D on July 4 with just two losses in the last 15 years.
The presence of RSL should add a new wrinkle to the match given the deep-seated rivalry between the two organizations that extends to five playoff meetings and numerous heavyweight battles during recent regular seasons. However, aside from the likes of RSL veterans Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman, this year both clubs are making fresh starts with new coaches and more than a few new faces who haven't shared in the historical matchups.
LA (6W-7L-4D, 22pts) may be faring slightly better with their relaunch this year compared to RSL (5W-12L-2D, 17pts), but both will be equally desperate to win on Tuesday and not merely because each is coming off two straight losses. Real Salt Lake are in the West cellar and have significant ground to make up in the standings, while the Galaxy need to reverse their league-worst 1W-4L-3D record at home if they hope to make the playoffs.
The LA Galaxy's lineup has been in constant flux all season as players have shifted in and out due to injuries, suspensions and international call-ups. This week is no different, but this time manager Curt Onalfo might welcome the changes given the three days rest between Saturday night's Cali Clasico loss and Tuesday's match.
It remains to be seen if left back Ashley Cole and attacking star Romain Alessandrini, who were surprise exclusions against San Jose, will recover in time from the "minor leg injuries" that caused them to miss the Stanford match. Starting center back Daniel Steres, listed as questionable this weekend, could also be back and his would be a welcome return with Jelle Van Damme out due to a red card suspension.
While we know Giovani Dos Santos is getting a break after his participation in the Confederations Cup with Mexico, could central midfielder Jermaine Jones be ready to make a comeback to the starting XI after a long injury layoff?
- Suspended next yellow card:
- International duty: FW Gyasi Zardes (US national team)
- Injury Report: OUT – DF Robbie Rogers (left ankle), MF Sebastian Lletget (foot), MF Baggio Husidic (left fibula fracture); QUESTIONABLE: DF Bradley Diallo (hamstring), DF Daniel Steres (right hamstring), MF Jermaine Jones (right knee), GK Brian Rowe (groin)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, left to right): Clement Diop — Ashley Cole, David Romney, Daniel Steres, Nathan Smith — Joao Pedro, Rafa Garcia — Emmanuel Boateng, Jose Villarreal, Romain Alessandrini — Jack McBean
Notes: Right back Bradley Diallo is available again and Nathan Smith is back from suspension, which makes right back another spot on the field where Onalfo could make a change after central midfielder Rafa Garcia filled in vs. the Earthquakes ... If Onalfo opts for a 4-4-2 with two out-and-out strikers, we could see the "Jack Mac" pairing of Jack McBean and Jack McInerney.
- LA Times: Onalfo faces tough decisions to name a starting XI
- Jelle Van Damme left frustrated after Cali Clasico loss
- What the Galaxy said after 2-1 loss vs. Quakes
- Corner of the Galaxy: How LA's 2017 compares with recent years
Real Salt Lake
With Albert Rusnak's return from Euro Under-21 Championship duty with Slovakia, RSL head coach Mike Petke now has a multitude of attacking options at his disposal for the starting XI. Right winger Brooks Lennon, who was dynamic but ineffectual against Orlando, would seem the likely candidate to make room and could prove an injection of energy off the bench, if necessary.
Also, after three straight starts and no goals or assists to show for them, will it be time for forward Luis Silva to make way for veteran and former SoCal resident Yura Movsisyan? The Armenian international's speed on the counter might prove more useful on the wide StubHub Center field.
- Suspended: MF Sunday Stephen (yellow card accumulation)
- Suspended next yellow card: DF Chris Schuler
- International duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT: FW Chad Barrett (knee), FW Jordan Allen (knee), MF Omar Holness (knee)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, left to right): Nick Rimando – Danilo Acosta, Aaron Maund, Justen Glad, Tony Beltran – Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland – Joao Plata, Albert Rusnak, Jefferson Savarino – Yura Movsisyan
Notes: Center back Aaron Maund and central midfielder Luke Mulholland were given the night off on Friday against Orlando City and should be rested and ready to put in their usual hard-working shift in LA ... Left back Demar Phillips, who is coming off a hamstring injury, could spell 19-year-old Danilo Acosta, who has started each of the last three games.
- Highlights: RSL lose to ex-coach Kreis and Orlando
- Rusnak returns after Euro experience with Slovakia
- RSL Soap Box: Three things RSL have to do better
- Deseret News: Player grades after loss to Orlando
Tuesday's will be the 35th all-time regular season meeting between the two clubs. LA already have one victory this season, a 2-1 win at Rio Tinto Stadium back on March 18. They will meet for a third time in the regular season on Saturday, Sept. 30 at StubHub Center.
The last road win by RSL at StubHub Center came on March 8, 2014 – a 1-0 result on a goal by Joao Plata.
- All-Time (34 regular season matches): LA Galaxy 14W-12L-8D (53 GF / 54 GA); Real Salt Lake 12W-14L-8D (54 GF / 53 GA)
- In Carson (17 regular season matches): LA Galaxy 10W-6L-1D (29 GF / 24 GA); Real Salt Lake 6W-10L-1D (24 GF / 29 GA)
Note: The two teams have also met five times in the MLS postseason (2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016) with the Galaxy advancing on three occasions, sporing a 4W-1L-2D record in those matches (including one penalty-kick shootout loss in 2009). They also met once in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup, where RSL emerged victorious 1-0 in 2015.
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Kevin Klinger (bench side), Felisha Mariscal (far)
Fourth Official: Baboucarr Jallow