Winning on the road continues to evade, but in Real Salt Lake vs LA Galaxy Penedo stands tall in 0-0 draw.
Apocalyptic weather in Salt Lake City saw kickoff delayed just over an hour, but by the time we finally saw the game start, it seemed that both teams were already asleep. These Western Conference rivals, who are both notorious for their reliance on possession of the ball did anything but keep it, as neither side had any real periods of dominance. It wasn’t until the second half that we saw serious chances from either side.
LA defended well for most of the game, catching RSL offside 7 times but was wasteful in possession with Rafa Garcia, in particular, giving the ball away a few times throughout the night. Despite the sloppy game, Omar Gonzalez wasn’t too upset with a point; “Salt Lake was trying to beat our line and failed countless times. They have two big guys up top who are very physical and I think we matched them up well. And the chances that they did have were deflections and Jaime [Penedo] came up big on those. On the night I think if we would’ve made the PK we would’ve deserved to win.”
“On the night I think if we would’ve made the PK we would’ve deserved to win.” LA Galaxy Defender, Omar Gonzalez
No late game heroics that we’ve come to expect from Alan Gordon who had a powerful header saved just over the bar by Rimando in the 66th minute, but LA struggled to create much going forward. The Galaxy desperately missed Juninho’s calming passing presence, (he’s in the top 10 passing leaders in the league) and for most of the game LA just looked to feed the ball long to Gordon, who according to Arena was playing injured.
The goalkeepers were excellent on the night however, with Jamie Penedo making 6 saves to Nick Rimando’s 3. But none were more important than Rimando’s 90th minute penalty save on Juninho(Who didn’t start this game because of an illness). Jamison Olave gifted LA a freekick just outside the box and then proceeded to further undermine his team by dragging down Omar Gonzalez with only seconds left in regulation. But Nick Rimando saved yet another LA Galaxy penalty kick (remember the one on Robbie Keane last year?) and kept his hard-earned clean sheet.
Despite not keeping the ball for more than what seemed like 10 seconds at a time, Bruce Arena was happy to leave with another road point; “We’re missing a lot of players so to come here and battle while dealing with the altitude and conditions, and to get a point, I can’t complain. We’ll get a couple guys back for Saturday, and I expect the same kind of effort.”
“We’ll get a couple guys back for Saturday, and I expect the same kind of effort.” LA Galaxy Head Coach & General Manager, Bruce Arena
LA remains unbeaten in 5 but winless on the road this season and will need to step it up against league leaders FC Dallas on Saturday.