MLS Preview and Prediction: Real Salt Lake vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, March 18th – KO: 21:30 ET (1:30 GMT)
Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 6/5  – Draw 9/4 – LA Galaxy 11/5

Match Preview

Real Salt Lake welcome La Galaxy to Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday as these two established Western Conference rivals look to get their season finally up and running with three points at the third attempt.

Through 180 minutes of football each, these two have only managed a single goal between them – and that came from the penalty spot in LA’s opening day loss to FC Dallas.

Real Salt Lake could be set for another average season in MLS as teams around the league have strengthened and they simply are a tad off the pace. Having said that, if players like Joao Plata can find form, they could upset a few teams.

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RSL have struggled to compete since their last trip to the MLS Cup final in 2013, having only just scraped a playoff berth last term without a win in their final six regular season fixtures. Things haven’t started much better this year but there is a long time left to turn it around.

LA Galaxy are notoriously slow starters but this term there will be less optimism of a resurgence. The franchise lost three marquee players in the offseason with the exits of Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and Steven Gerrard and they haven’t looked like the same attacking side so far in 2017.

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Two home losses in their opening games demonstrate the challenge that beseeches them this year. New manager Curt Onalfo has an uphill battle on his hands trying to replace Bruce Arena and if he fails to make the playoffs there will plenty of questions to answer come the end of the season.

Team News

Real Salt Lake are monitoring the fitness of six players for this one. Justen Glad, Chris Schuler, Aaron Maund and Joao Plata are all listed as questionable. Demar Phillips is a probable as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Jordan Allen is a doubt with a quadricep strain.

LA Galaxy are without three key players for the tough away trip as defenders Robbie Rogers and Ashley Cole are still out with ankle and calf injuries respectively. Gyasi Zardes is missing after knee surgery and Giovani Dos Santos is a doubt after leaving the Portland Timbers game with a hamstring strain.

Key Points

Real Salt Lake’s Form: D/L

LA Galaxy’s Form: L/L

Key Stat: LA Galaxy scored eleven goals in three meeting with Real Salt Lake in 2016, an average of 3.6 per game.

Key Player: Sebastian Lletget – LA Galaxy midfielder Lletget is yet to impact a game in the way we know he can this year. If Giovani Dos Santos is unfit to play, a lot of Galaxy’s attacking potential will fall to on the shoulders of Lletget.

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Score Prediction

Real Salt Lake 1-1 LA Galaxy – The trip to Rio Tinto is historically a difficult one for any side and may prove to be too much of a challenge for the Galaxy to register a first win in 2017. Neither side has started the season in good form and it’s difficult to see either side winning here.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Real Salt Lake vs LA Galaxy

RCompetition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Wednesday, September 7 – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST) 

Match Odds: RSL 21/20 – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 12/5

Match Preview

Real Salt Lake host LA Galaxy in a huge Western Conference battle between two long-standing MLS rivals on Wednesday night.

The Playoff battle is really heating up now, with both these sides set to be left with just six to play following Wednesday’s battle at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Real Salt Lake come into the game fresh after not playing at the weekend. They are fourth in the West but are tied on points with both Colorado and LA Galaxy, who fill the two spots above them.

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - Joao Plata Celebrates

A midweek win here would leave RSL just five points behind Supporters’ Shield leaders FC Dallas so it’s a huge game for the home side. They have beaten Dallas and Colorado at home in their last two games and could complete an impressive hat-trick of victories with three points here.

LA Galaxy arrive at RSL off the back of their first win in seven on Saturday. Bruce Arena’s side emerged from a tricky spell with a 2-1 home win against Vancouver, thanks to a pair of fine goals from Baggio Husidic and Giovani Dos Santos.

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The return of Robbie Keane will boost confidence further, though the Galaxy have not won away at RSL since 2013 and have not scored at Rio Tinto in their last four visits.

Their away form has been better this season than it was during the 2015 campaign, but they have not managed to seal a victory in their last three road games.

Team News

Real Salt Lake will be without Emery Welshman and Aaron Maund once again, while Sunday Stephen remains a doubt. Omar Holness and Kyle Beckerman are away on international duty and won’t return in time to play on Wednesday night.

LA Galaxy have a concerning injury list to worry about as the postseason edges ever closer. Gyasi Zardes is out for the season, while Jelle Van Damme and Steven Gerrard remain sidelined, so the absence of those three leaves Bruce Arena short-staffed in key areas. Robbie Keane should be back after retiring from international duty in last week’s Ireland game against Oman.

Key Points

Real Salt Lake’s last five: L/W/L/W/W

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/L/D/D/W

Key Stat: Real Salt Lake are unbeaten in seven home games against LA Galaxy, winning four of those games, including each of the last two meetings at Rio Tinto.

Key Player: Yura Movsisyan – The Armenian striker scored twice in RSL’s 2-1 win over Colorado last time out and now has nine goals for the season. The Designated Player looks to be in good form and will be hoping to hurt the Galaxy backline here.

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Score Prediction

Real Salt Lake 2-1 LA Galaxy – RSL look to have hit a strong run of a form at the best possible time and are poised to win a third-straight league game for the second time this season as they look to move into second in the West. The home support gives them a major advantage, as well as the fact LA have a trio of key absentees. There should be goals here, but RSL ultimately look in better shape to edge this.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Real Salt Lake vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Wednesday, May 6th – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST)

Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 17/10 – Draw: 11/5 – LA Galaxy: 13/8

Match Preview

Real Salt Lake host LA Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday night, looking for some retribution towards the Galaxy, after they knocked them out of the playoffs last season en route to winning MLS Cup.

Both sides face two games this week, which will allow both the chance to get more points on the board before the weekend is over. On paper you would have to say LA Galaxy have the harder of the two fixtures with two tricky away ties as a trip to FC Dallas awaits on Sunday night. While Real Salt Lake head to Chicago to face the Fire on Saturday night.

Real Salt Lake come into this one without a win in their last four, leaving them languishing in eighth in the Western Conference. It’s a stark contrast to last season when they went unbeaten through their first 13 games and were in second place.

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RSL have really struggled to get goals this season with just seven to their name. That’s rather concerning considering they were in the playoffs last season. But they can take some confidence from the fact that they have only lost once at home so far in that 1-0 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Royals need to get back to winning ways very quickly before the leading pack leave them behind in the chase for the playoffs. Jeff Cassar’s side have just two wins this season but they are only three points off the Galaxy in fourth, with a game in hand.

LA Galaxy are on a run of two consecutive draws after ties with New York Red Bulls and Colorado Rapids. One major concern is their away form so far this year as they have drawn two and lost two on the road.

That’s a key point as they now face three away games in a row. Picking up points away from home is vital if they are to get top spot in the Western Conference this season.

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Robbie Keane has only featured four times for the Galaxy this season, but has scored four goals, keeping up his impressive goal record in MLS with 85 in 88 games in regular season matches. But they will again be without their talisman as his groin strain is still leaving him on the sidelines.

Fellow striker Alan Gordon has come in and scored some important goals and will need to keep getting on the scoresheet in his absence, while emerging star Bradford Jamieson IV can look to continue impressing.

The two sides met in the Western Conference semifinals in the playoffs last season, in a game where LA Galaxy thumped Real Salt Lake 5-0 at StubHub Center, though RSL were the better side at Rio Tinto Stadium in the first-leg’s 0-0 draw.

Though a hat-trick from Landon Donovan, and goals from Robbie Keane and Marcelo Sarvas sent the Claret and Cobalt packing, and they will be desperate for revenge in this one.

Team News

Real Salt Lake will remain without Joao Plata (fractured metatarsal) and Chris Schuler (medial meniscus), while doubts remain over Sebastian Jaime (right tibia fracture) and Boyd Okwuonu (shoulder). RSL could have Nick Rimando back in goal and top scorer Javier Morales could also turn out after he took part in full training at the end of April.

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LA Galaxy have some injury problems of their own for this one, including Robbie Keane (groin), Jose Villarreal (hamstring) and goalkeeper Brian Perk, with the latter out for the rest of the season. Kenney Walker and Leonardo could return to the side but are unlikely to start. Gyasi Zardes is set to continue on the left with Jamieson and Gordon in attack.

Key Points

Real Salt Lake’s last five: W/D/L/L/D

LA Galaxy’s last five: L/W/W/D/D

Key Stat: Real Salt Lake are unbeaten against LA Galaxy in their last four home meetings with their Western Conference rivals.

Key Player: Nick Rimando – The Real Salt Lake ‘keeper has the highest amount of clean sheets in MLS history with 115 to his name. Another clean sheet in this one is a real possibility and would help RSL add to their points tally.

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Score Prediction

Real Salt Lake 1-0 LA Galaxy – Not too many goals as both teams are missing key strikers. Galaxy haven’t won away this season and won’t break the RSL defence down in this one. Home win.