Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy return to action on Saturday, Apr. 27, when they travel to Sandy, Utah to tangle with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Galaxy are currently 3-1-2 (11 points) while Real Salt Lake are 3-3-2 (11 points) but LA have two games in hand. Both teams are in pursuit of FC Dallas, who hold a commanding lead in the MLS Western Conference standings and the league in general.
June 20, 2012; Sandy, UT, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan (10) gains control of the ball during the second half against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Galaxy defeated Real Salt Lake 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET and will be televised locally by Time Warner Cable SportsNet. Here are 10 bold predictions for the Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake.
1. No goals first 20 minutes
In the first 20 minutes, expect plenty of possession battles. A key component to watch is the midfield battle. How will Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas match up against Javier Morales, Yordany Alvarez and Ned Grabavoy?
2. Los Angeles will score first
Following the first 20 minutes, the Los Angeles Galaxy are going to strike first thanks to Mike Magee. He’s had a history of scoring clutch goals against RSL and Saturday will be no different. Magee leads the team in goals scored with five this season.
3. A goal and an assist from Landon Donovan
Landon Donovan’s comeback trail will continue on the road against Real Salt Lake. He was key to LA’s most recent victory against RSL last year at Rio Tinto, and he will earn at least a goal and an assist on Saturday.
4. Robbie Keane returns…with a vengeance
Robbie Keane has had it tough the past few games with his scoring stroke. But this time, the Republic of Ireland international will find the net and waste zero time in making it happen. Keane will score in the second half.
5. Javier Morales leaves LA flummoxed once again
June 20, 2012; Sandy, UT, USA; Real Salt Lake fans during the first half of a match against the Los Angeles Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Also scoring in the second half is Real Salt Lake franchise player Javier Morales, who scored in RSL’s 1-0 victory over Chivas USA. Morales will make it two-for-two on Saturday.
6. Here comes Alvaro Saborio
Adding some extra drama late is Alvaro Saborio, who leads Real Salt Lake in goals with three this year. Nothing like an accomplished Tico to make this one memorable match, and the games between LA and RSL have historically been great games to watch.
7. Nick Rimando with at least five saves
Big saves from Nick Rimando will be needed on Saturday, as Keane, Magee and Donovan look to add some presure on the attack. Rimando will make at least five saves on the day.
8. Los Angeles dominates the match statistics
The Galaxy are going to win a number of match statistics, namely: duels won, duels won percentage, attempts on goal, open play crosses, passing accuracy and possession.
9. At least 24 fouls and under four yellow cards
This match will be a bit more fluid and not a lot of cards will be issued. At least 24 fouls will be whistles and under four yellow cards will be awarded.
10. Los Angeles wins a goal festival
This is going to be a great game to watch. But in the end, Los Angeles’s star power will key the Galaxy to a statement victory and issue a stern warning to the rest of the league: the defending MLS Cup Champs have not yet begun to fight.
Los Angeles Galaxy 3, Real Salt Lake 2