The LA Galaxy v Real Salt Lake is always an entertaining battle. Today, we’re looking back on the recent history (2014) of these two teams and their fight for Western Conference superiority.
The LA Galaxy are now on the road for the next 3 matches, starting with this clash against Real Salt Lake TONIGHT (Wednesday, May 6 at 6:30 PM), which you can see on Time Warner Cable Sportsnet or Time Warner Cable Deportes, as well as the Radio home of the Galaxy on the Beast 980. The Galaxy and RSL know each other very well through their battles over the years in the MLS CUP as well as the previous MLS Cup Playoff matchup. Lets take a look back at the results against Real Salt Lake in 2014.
The First match of the 2014 season between the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake was also the first match of the 2014 Regular Season for both teams. The game was very up and down for both teams as both teams were getting many chances on goal. There was a controversial no goal call in the 76th minute for Real Salt Lake, but play continued. The match finally had its first goal in the 80th minute of play as RSL’s Kyle Beckerman played a through ball to Joao Plata who scored a one-on-one opportunity against Jaime Penedo. As the Galaxy were pushing men forward, they finally got their chance in the 92nd minute as a penalty was called in the box and LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane stepped up to take it. But RSL goalkeeper, Nick Rimando, dove to the right spot and denied Robbie a goal and denied the Galaxy from tying the match, so the Galaxy ended up losing 1-0. This was the last time the LA Galaxy lost a game at home.
The second matchup between LA Galaxy and RSL was up at Rio Tinto Stadium, where high winds and poor field conditions were awaiting them. Real Salt Lake took the lead early in the game, the 19th minute, on a set piece opportunity when Joao Plata sent in a ball to Alvaro Saborio. It was an easy finish and gave RSL a 1-0 lead. The Galaxy would then pull one back as high pressure from Marcelo Sarvas caused a turnover against Chris Wingert which lead to Robbie Keane dribbling from the halfway line all the way to the box where he blasted a shot past the outstretched arms of Rimando. WHAT A GOAL! Both teams had chances but nothing major, as the Galaxy and RSL tied, 1-1.
The third and final matchup of the regular season for the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, took place at the friendly confines of StubHub Center. Gyasi Zardes was starting to get on his miraculous goal streak and once again got a goal here in the 19th with an outside the box shot which hit the left post and went into the back of the net. Throughout this match the Galaxy were in control and should of scored a few more goals. In the 7th minute of stoppage of the 2nd half, Marcelo Sarvas had the best scoring chance with a penalty kick but was been denied. The Galaxy usually “start” their season in July, and this was just the beginning of their run to winning 2014 MLS CUP.
The Galaxy being in 2nd place of the Western Conference, had been paired with 3rd place Real Salt Lake for the Western Conference Semi-Finals. The first leg of the semi-finals was played a freezing cold Rio Tinto stadium as it seems like it always is when the Galaxy travel up to Sandy, Utah. Leg 1 was the Jaime Penedo show as he made many, many key saves in the match to preserve the 0-0 tie in Utah. The Galaxy throughout the match didn’t really have that many attacking opportunities, so it was up to the LA Galaxy defense and Jaime Penedo to come up big and sure they did as the Galaxy took a 0-0 result into leg 2 at StubHub Center.
The 2nd leg of the Western Conference Semi-Finals and the last match of the season for LA Galaxy v Real Salt Lake was pure DOMINANCE by the Galaxy. The Galaxy were running hot and no one in their way could stop them. The match started in the 11th minute after great combination play through the midfield which lead AJ DeLaGarza through, who played a great ball into the middle of the box where Landon Donovan came running in and buried it in the back of the net with his head to give the Galaxy a 1-0 lead. 9 Minutes later it was Landon Donovan, who passed a great ball to a wide open Robbie Keane who gave the Galaxy a 2-0 lead – the Galaxy were on fire! Honestly, the Galaxy could of stretched the lead even more in the first half, but they missed their chances.
In the second half, in the 54th minute, Robbie Keane played a beautiful through-ball from midfield to space and found a darting Landon Donovan who rounded an incoming Nick Rimando and slotted it in the back of the net to give the Galaxy a 3-0 lead. In the 63rd minute, Robbie Rogers played a nice pass to Robbie Keane at the top of the 18, then to Marcelo Sarvas in the box, who muscled his way through and scored one of his own, to give the Galaxy a 4-0 lead. Last but not least, in the 72nd minute, Robbie Keane lobbed over an amazing pass to a running Landon Donovan, who completed his hat trick and showed off a big smile to everyone as the Galaxy defeated RSL 5-0 to go on to the Western Conference Finals, and eventually win the MLS CUP.
The record between the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake has been very even through the years as the Galaxy have an overall record of 11-11-6 (regular season meetings) against Real Salt Lake. On the road in Utah hasn’t been the most favorable for the Galaxy as they are 3-5-5 in the regular season.
This will definitely be a great game to watch as two of the top teams in the MLS square off.