Playoffs! Playoffs! Playoffs! Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy continue their quest to defend their MLS Cup with the first leg of the 2013 MLS Western Conference Semifinals against Jason Kreis’s Real Salt Lake at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, Nov. 3.
The Galaxy finished the 2013 regular season with a record of 15-11-8 (53 points), while Real Salt Lake ended their regular season with a record of 16-10-8 (56 points). Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN.
Here are 10 Bold Predictions for Sunday’s first leg of the 2013 MLS Western Conference Semifinals between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
1. Real Salt Lake will score first
This season, Alvaro Saborio has had 12 goals to his credit and he will open up the scoring within the first 30 minutes of the match.
2. Javier Morales with two assists
In 2013, Javier Morales has had 10 assists to his name, and he will get two more on Sunday against LA.
3. Robbie Findley on the scoresheet
One of the other heroes for Real Salt Lake this year is Robbie Findley, with six goals this season. Findley will get on the scoresheet on Sunday in the second half against LA.
4. Robbie Keane with a goal and an assist
The most reliable weapon offensively for Los Angeles has been forward Robbie Keane, with 16 goals and 11 assists. Keane will earn a goal and an assist on Sunday against RSL.
5. Landon Donovan on the scoresheet
Landon Donovan was held at bay by the Seattle Sounders last Sunday but with this leg being on the friendlier surface of StubHub Center, Donovan should add a goal to his name against Real Salt Lake.
6. Nick Rimando with at least four saves
This year, Nick Rimando has 82 saves to his credit. He will need to make least four to keep Real Salt Lake in contention for the upper hand.
7. Jaime Penedo with under five saves
There won’t be a lot of saves from Jaime Penedo, but there will be a good amount of quality saves nonetheless. The View from Avalon is calling for under five saves from Jimmy P.
8. No goals or assists for Gyasi Zardes
This season, Gyasi Zardes has four goals and assists each. However, his inconsistent play will be on showcase on Sunday night against Real Salt Lake. There will be no goals or assists for Zardes.
9. At least 30 fouls and four cards
Expect a tightly-officiated contest, with at least 30 fouls whistled and at least four cards of any color issued. This is playoffs football. The action will be physical and passionate.
10. This match will end in a draw
The Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake will be engaged in an entertaining draw. It is only fair that this semi is determined in Sandy, Utah.
Los Angeles Galaxy 2, Real Salt Lake 2