Statement victories are huge, whether it’s at home or on the road. For Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy, they played with the type of will and determination required of defending MLS Cup Champions in their 4-2 victory over Jason Kreis’s Real Salt Lake at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. With the victory, the Galaxy improve to 11-9-4 (37 points) and continue their chase for a spot in the postseason.
Here are six things we learned from Saturday night’s encounter between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
1. Joao Plata opens things up
The Galaxy have been prone to giving up runs by defenders, forcing goalkeepers into 1-v-1s that they cannot win because they are not Iker Casillas-caliber. Example: 53rd minute. Ned Grabavoy and Nat Borchers teamed up on a solid sequence that saw Joao Plata break loose.
New acquisition Jaime Penedo got the start on Saturday. He lost the 1-v-1 and this goal proves one thing: Los Angeles can have Iker Casillas in goal, and the outcome will still be the same. It’s an LA thing, I know.
2. Robbie Keane: hat trick hero
This will be expanding in the player rating on the View, but Robbie Keane really took this to Real Salt Lake. He’s had a history of scoring goals left and right against RSL and in the 56th, 67th and 86th minute, Keano continued his hotstreak of delivering for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
3. Omar Gonzalez lives up to the DP hype
This is one of the few times I have to say: Omar Gonzalez deserves his designated player money. Not only did he do the work defensively with some timely clearances, he also scored the eventual match-winner in the 75th minute on a textbook header off a Landon DOnovan corner. Omar Comin’? More like Omar Here!
4. Robbie Findley continues LA’s futility late
Surrendering set piece goals and surrendering goals in stoppage time are nothing new to the Los Angeles Galaxy; it’s become commonplace. In the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time, Robbie Findley was able to finish off a Nat Borchers set piece. Javier Morales, who was kept at bay all match, also helped out with and assist on that goal.
You can add finishing a game off with dignity to the list of challenges that this Galaxy team will have to check off for the rest of this season.
5. Sean Franklin’s substitution the death blow for Real Salt Lake
In the 65th minute, Sean Franklin was brought into the game for Hector Jimenez, and the move was a masterstroke. Franklin earned two assists in the contest, both to Robbie Keane, and he also proceeded to stretch the midfield of Real Salt Lake on the right side.
6. Los Angeles send the firing squad on Nick Rimando
The match stats also tell the story of the contest. Real Salt Lake were outshot in this one, 23-13, and even though they dominated the duels, passing and possession, the Galaxy decided to make this a target practice. If the finishing was more to the specifications of the fans, the outcome, as you know, would have been more decisive.
|LA Galaxy||Real Salt Lake|
|23||Attempts on Goal||13|
|11||Shots on Target||3|
|7||Shots off Target||5|
|15||Open Play Crosses||13|
|0||First Yellow Cards||1|
|0||Second Yellow Cards||0|
|47%||Duels Won %||52%|
|78%||Passing Accuracy %||80%|