CARSON, Calif, – Real Salt Lake (7-4-7, 28 points, West #2) fell 1-0 to LA Galaxy (6-3-6, 24 points, West #6) at StubHub Center on Saturday night.
LA Galaxy FW Gyasi Zardes scored the game’s lone goal in the 20th minute – a lead that the Claret-and-Cobalt were unable to overcome for the rest of the match. Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando put in a fantastic performance, saving a penalty kick in the last minute of stoppage time to keep LA’s lead at one.
The match started off open and never really slowed down, with both sides registering chances early on. Real Salt Lake saw its first chance of the match arrive in the seventh minute. The play started from a nice buildup and movement around the 18 to eventually find RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman at the top of the area. Beckerman then laid the ball off to DF Tony Beltran on the right who blasted a shot into the box that deflected off a Galaxy player for RSL’s first corner kick of the night. The set piece chance fizzled out though after RSL was called for a foul inside the box.
Rimando showed off some of his renowned skill as a playmaker in the 14th minute, setting up FW Joao Plata for a near 1v1 situation with Galaxy GK Jaime Penedo. Rimando hit a pin perfect 60 yard pass that found an open Plata in the attacking half on the left side. Plata collected the ball and sprung for goal but was eventually cobbled up by three recovering Galaxy defenders to cut out the chance.
LA Galaxy took the lead in the 20th minute, capitalizing with a man advantage on a counter attack. The California side was able to exploit the situation when RSL MF Javier Morales was stripped of the ball by LA Galaxy MF Marcelo Sarvas but then went down to the ground of an apparent injury during the tackle. With advantage given, RSL eventually lost possession which allowed Sarvas took the ball up the right flank, with no call back from the referee, and cut the ball back to the top of the 18 yard box. LA Galaxy FW Landon Donovan dummied the pass allowing Zardes to blast a shot to the left corner that deflected off the inside of the post and in.
The Galaxy kept up the attack, almost doubling their lead three minutes later again on the counter. Galaxy DF Robbie Rogers started the play, finding acres of room on the left side. Rogers sped to the edge of the box and sent in a low cross that a sliding Zardes was unable to reach. LA had the follow up shot but Claret-and-Cobalt DF Chris Schuler came up big, getting a leg to the attempt to deflect out of danger.
Beckerman almost provided Real Salt Lake with the equalizer in the 29th minute. Beckerman was found open at the top of the area and fired a shot from 20 yards out that forced a save from Penedo, who could only chest the shot to the side of the six yard box. RSL FW Devon Sandoval was there for the follow up shot but was unable to make much of the angle and the attempt fizzled.
The start of the second half saw the home side come firing out of the gates with a pair of chances for LA FW Robbie Keane. The first came just after the whistle with the Irishman collecting the ball in the middle of the field and sprinting towards goal and firing a shot from the top of the area that went wide of the net. The lethal forward almost struck again five minutes later, sending a shot from inside the box that forced a diving one-handed save from Rimando to keep the lead to one.
Beckerman again almost provided the equalizer with a great look in the 55th minute. The play started with DF Chris Wingert on the left side who slipped a great ball into the middle of the penalty area that found Beckerman. The RSL captain worked his way on to his left-foot and blasted a shot to the far corner that went just wide of the post.
Real Salt Lake saw its best shot of the second half slip by in the 62nd minute. Beltran started the play on the right flank, sending a nice low cross into the box. Sandoval dummied the pass to set up RSL FW Joao Plata whose rocket of a shot seemed destined to find the back of the net but Penedo came up big again, pushing the shot wide for a corner kick.
The Galaxy continued to stay on the attack, almost going up by another goal in the 74th minute. Sarvas managed to get off a lovely long cross from the right sideline into the box where an open Husidic made a diving header that went wide of the net. Donovan almost doubled the lead minutes later getting on the end of a nice pass from substitute Stefan Ishizaki. Donovan sped to the touchline and attempted to beat Rimando to the near post but the RSL veteran was there to collect the shot.
Real Salt Lake had a call for a penalty kick in the 85th minute when LA Galaxy MF Juninho appeared to kick Wingert in the face attempting to clear a corner kick. The referee did not appear to think the injury warranted a foul or discipline and play continued. Minutes after the controversial lack of a call, the Claret-and-Cobalt had a golden opportunity to draw even in the 89th minute. RSL substitute FW Olmes Garcia sent a nice cut-in ball into the box that RSL MF Ned Grabavoy ran onto but his close-range shot went wide of the post.
Rimando kept LA from icing the game in the final minute of stoppage time, furthering his excellent record on PK’s with a save on Sarvas. The Brazilian called the foul, creating a 1v1 opportunity in the box that forced Rimando to come off his line and tackle the ball away from Sarvas, appearing to take down the player as well. The penalty was called but Rimando came up big again, reading Sarvas correctly and made a diving save to his right for his 22nd PK save of his career. The amazing save ended up being the final play of the game.
RSL will kick off a three-game home stretch for the rest of July following Saturday’s loss in LA. The Claret-and-Cobalt first host Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, July 19 at 8:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. Tickets to the Vancouver contest can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 0-1 LA
- Tonight’s match was Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman and GK Nick Rimando’s second appearance and start for the Claret-and-Cobalt since being named to the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup roster in mid-May. The international duo returned to Salt Lake City last Thursday to help lead RSL to a 2-1 win over New England Revolution at Rio Tinto Stadium. The win snapped RSL’s previous five-game winless streak in MLS play. Beckerman and Rimando missed a total of six MLS matches (and seven games across all competitions, including RSL’s U.S. Open Cup loss at Atlanta Silverbacks) after being named to the U.S.’s World Cup roster. In their absence, the Claret-and-Cobalt went 1-3-2 in MLS play.
- RSL GK Nick Rimando’s penalty kick save on Galaxy MF Marcelo Sarvas makes opposing players 41/63 against Rimando on penalty kicks. The PK save was Rimando’s 22nd career save.
- Real Salt Lake MF John Stertzer earned his third start of the 2014 season tonight. The three starts this year are his first with the club since joining in 2013.
- With tonight’s loss Real Salt Lake now has a 11-11-6 regular season record against the Galaxy and a 12-13-7 mark when including MLS Cup Playoff matches. RSL is now 6-8-1 in regular season action at LA, and 6-10-1 at the Galaxy in regular season and playoff action. Historically, the Claret-and-Cobalt is now 12-18-3 all-time in regular season and playoff action at StubHub center against LA and co-tenants Chivas USA.
REAL SALT LAKE 0–1 LA GALAXY
SATURDAY, JULY 12, 2014
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
LA Galaxy 1 0 1
LA – Gyasi Zardes (Marcelo Sarvas) – 20’
RSL – Olmes Garcia (Yellow; Unsporting behavior) – 90’+4’
LA – Marcelo Sarvas (Yellow; Argument) – 90’+4’
RSL – Nick Rimando (Yellow; Foul) – 90’+7’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert, Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler, Tony Beltran; Kyle Beckerman (C), John Stertzer (Luke Mulholland, 63’), Luis Gil (Ned Grabavoy, 45’), Javier Morales; Joao Plata, Devon Sandoval (Olmes Garcia, 72’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella (GK); Aaron Maund, Abdoulie Mansally, Cole Grossman, Ned Grabavoy, Olmes Garcia
LA Galaxy (4-1-2-1-2): Jaime Penedo; Dan Gargan, Tommy Meyer, A.J. DeLaGarza, Robbie Rogers; Baggio Husidic (Stefan Ishizaki, 79’), Juninho (Kenny Walker, 90’), Landon Donovan, Marcelo Sarvas; Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Keane (Leonardo, 90’+5’)
Substitutes not used: Brian Rowe; Chandler Hoffman, Bradford Jamieson, Rob Friend
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry, Craig Lowry
4th Official: Daniel Radford