The inconsistency of Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy should not go unnoticed. The Galaxy failed to put the game away late and had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Jeff Cassar’s Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Here are six things we learned, followed by player ratings, for the match between RSL and the Galaxy
1. A slow first 15 minutes
Early on in the first half, Real Salt Lake were looking to press and pounce on the Galaxy early. Joao Plata nearly broke through in the second minute but his chance went wide right. Omar Gonzalez has cost Los Angeles quite a few times and nearly paid the price again. The next several minutes were a ball possession battle, with Los Angeles holding sway. Goalkeeper Brian Perk was brought in for Jaime Penedo, who had some visa issues in Panama after a tough outing against Club Tijuana on Tuesday. A shot from Alvaro Saborio in the 14th minute was blocked.
2. It’s Sabo time!
A chance from Stefan Ishizaki went south in the 17th minute. The communication between Robbie Keane and Rob Friend is a work in progress, as seen in their first sequence during this stretch of the first half. Ishizaki was cautioned in the 18th minute for a challenge on Plata. Alvaro Saborio opened up the scoring in the 19th minute off a set piece that was initially taken short. Excellent positioning of the assist by Plata gave Saborio more than enough time to coolly slot it home. Last year, Saborio had 12 goals and two assists to lead RSL.
A chance for Robbie Keane in the 24th minute was collected by Nick Rimando, who didn’t have to do much work in goal until them. Another shot from Keane in the 25th minute was blocked. Plata and James Riley pulled a muscle during this stretch. Must be the surface. Riley, however, was in worse shape and looked fit to be subbed due to a knee injury. Dan Gargan filled in at minute 33.
3. Galaxy get back in the chase
A speculative blast from Ishizaki in the 33rd minute found the seats. Seconds later, this match became a game. Keane beat Rimando on a 1-v-1 in the 35th minute to put the match on level terms. Olmes Garcia was forced to come in for Plata in the 36th minute of play. Plata suffered a hamstring injury, according to NBC Sports’s John Strong.
Friend tried an overhead in the 41st but to no avail. A Landon Donovan corner in the 43rd minute was saved by Rimando after a poor shot by Omar Gonzalez. Ned Grabavoy won a corner after his shot missed wide left in the 45th minute. Another corner in the third minute of injury time from Donovan failed to find Friend.
Real Salt Lake LA Galaxy
5 Attempts on Goal 4
1 Shots on Target 1
2 Shots off Target 2
2 Blocked Shots 1
2 Corner Kicks 0
10 Fouls 5
7 Open Play Crosses 3
0 Offsides 0
0 First Yellow Cards 1
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
16 Duels Won 22
42% Duels Won % 57%
187 Total Pass 154
78% Passing Accuracy % 81%
55.3% Possession 44.7%
4. Second verse, same as the first: Slow start
Early on in the second half, Real Salt Lake got back to their usual pressing form. Morales’s first volley of the second half was collected by Perk. The Galaxy needed to dictate the pace to put themselves in a good position but instead, both teams were engaged in a ball possession battle once again, with offensive turnovers all around.
Saborio was offsides in the 53rd minute and had a good look at goal. Gargan conceded a free kick to Morales in the 54th minute of play that was deflected. Morales was eventually cautioned for a foul on Donovan. On the counter in the 57th minute, Grabavoy won another corner after Perk made another stop. Eventually, Morales was felled in the 58th minute after injuring his arm off a 50-50 with Juninho.
5. Hard, physical play highlights second half
Real Salt Lake defender Chris Schuler was given a talking to by referee Ismail Elfath for fouling Rob Friend a few too many times. A cross from Keane was cleared by Schuler in the 63rd and RSL looked to take advantage with the counter but to no avail. Seconds later, Saborio was given a yellow for a foul on A.J. DeLaGarza, who was fouled again by Garcia in the 65th. Luis Gil took a hit from Ishizaki in the 66th minute of play.
Saborio had another chance in the 67th minute but was held at bay by DeLaGarza. Keane was offsides on a breakaway in the 68th minute. Marcelo Sarvas filled in for Ishizaki in the 70th minute after a decent shift in his first start for LA. Eventually, DeLaGarza had to be substituted for Leonardo at 72 minutes in and one dressed in burgundy had to wonder, “Now, we REALLY have a chance.” Garcia was whistled in the 74th minute for a challenge on Gargan. Another opportunity for Sabo was collected by Perk.
6. Los Angeles waste another opportunity on the road
Baggio Husidic had a chance in the 76th minute but took too much time to make a shot. Grabavoy was subbed out for Luke Mulholland seconds later. Mulholland was in the clutch last week against San Jose, although Earthquakes frontman Victor Bernardez had something to say about that. Garcia made a sweeping clearance on Sarvas in the 81st minute of play and was offsides seconds later. Friend pulled off a shocker in the 85th minute in electing to play it back. He also got whistled in the 87th minute for a handball. An exciting sequence in the second minute of stoppage time by LA fizzled out, and on the second opportunity, Rimando made another collection to seal the draw.
|Real Salt Lake||LA Galaxy|
|10||Attempts on Goal||9|
|2||Shots on Target||1|
|4||Shots off Target||4|
|13||Open Play Crosses||8|
|2||First Yellow Cards||1|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|48%||Duels Won %||51%|
|78%||Passing Accuracy %||79%|