Real Salt Lake Suffers First Defeat of Preseason, 1-0 to the LA Galaxy

CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, February 21, 2017) – Real Salt Lake suffered its first loss in seven preseason matches on Tuesday, falling 1-0 to the LA Galaxy on the StubHub Center practice field.  It was the first of two matches for RSL in the final stage of preseason in Southern California after previous stops in Tucson, Arizona and Portland, Oregon.

With just 11 days until the regular season opener, Head Coach Jeff Cassar opted to play two different teams in the games two halves with the plan to extend the minutes of his potential starters in the final preseason match on Friday.

GK Matt VanOekel made several first half saves to fend off the Galaxy attack, but ultimately LA got the deciding goal in the 40th minute.

LA controlled much of the half, getting dangerous opportunities in the second and 20th minutes that were thwarted by VanOekel.  And Salt Lake had a chance to snare the lead itself in the 32nd minute when FW Ricardo Velazco got free in the 32nd minute.  He made a run in behind the Galaxy defense and was 1v1 with the goalkeeper, but his floated shot that eluded the keeper skipped just wide of the far post.

LA took the lead in the 40th minute on a run up the left played across the box for a first-time shot at the edge of the six.  Jack McBean led Emanuel Boateng into the box and he crossed for Jaime Villarreal for the first-time goal to make it 1-0.

That was the way the first half ended as Cassar made wholesale changes at halftime.

RSL controlled possession in the attacking half for the first five minutes of the second half, but neither team was able to get much in terms of clear-cut chances.  RSL had its best chance to equalize in the 81st minute when MF Albert Rusnák sent a corner kick bounding through the box.  MF Sunny got his head to it at the far post, but flicked it over the crossbar and RSL was left with the 1-0 defeat.

Real Salt Lake will play one final preseason friendly against Armenian champions Alashkert on Friday in Irvine, California, before returning to Utah for the regular season opener on March 4 against Toronto FC.

Carson, Calif.

Goals by Period                    1          2          F
Real Salt Lake                        0          0          0
LA Galaxy                               1          0          1

Scoring Summary:

LA – Jaime Villarreal (Emmanuel Boateng) 40’

RSL Lineups:
First Half (4-2-3-1): Matt VanOekel; Reagan Dunk, Justin Schmidt, Emilio Orozco, Chris Wingert; Omar Holness, Luis Silva; Andrew Brody, Jose Hernandez, Ricardo Velazco; Chad Barrett.

Second Half (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, David Horst, Chris Schuler, Demar Phillips (Max Lachowecki 77'); Sunny, Luke Mulholland; Jordan Allen, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata; Yura Movsisyan.