- Ethan Gomberg


Although up against the draw of the USA/Argentina match 3,000 miles away, Real Salt Lake hosting the LA Galaxy at Riot Tinto Stadium represented an early season match with massive implications for the Western Conference. Both LA and RSL were coming off decent first week results. LA defeated the Seattle Sounders away, then took a point in a tough draw with New England at home. Goals in both games came from budding Brazilian midfielder Juninho. RSL had a rough go in San Jose last week, but were able to steal three points in terrible conditions from an Earthquakes side coming off a conference finals appearance in 2010.

Both sides put out something of a “Frankenstein” lineup. With LA captain Landon Donovan on international duty, star David Beckham took up the captain’s band for the LA Galaxy. Also new to the LA starting lineup was former New York Red Bull star forward Juan Pablo Angel and midfielder Michael Stephens, taking the place of Donovan. RSL’s starting lineup had some nagging doubts about several of their key starting players. Starters Will Johnson and Alvaro Saborio were out for their respective national teams. Ahead of the match, starting keeper Nick Rimando and starting defenders Jamison Olave and Chris Wingert looked doubtful because of injury, but all three did in fact make the lineup.

"There wasn’t any doubt in my mind if I was going to play," Rimandao said when asked after the game. "My pre game physical looked good and I got the start." RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy and newcomer Paulo Araujo Jr took Johnson's and Saborio’s starting spots respectively. The start was Araujo’s first start in MLs.

The game started out with a bang, literally, when several fireworks launched during pregame celebrations exploded very close to inside of the stadium.

RSL followed the explosive lead when RSL original Andy Williams scored off an assist from newcomer Paul Araujo Jr.

“(Falling behind early was) not good, not good, no excuses on our part," said Bruce Arena.

A controversial decision by the referee would give RSL and vice-like grip on the match after just ten minutes. Paulo Jr drew a foul in the box, leading to a penalty that midfielder maestro Javier Morales calmly took to give the Utahans a 2-0 advantage. Replays later showed the PK was a questionable call. “I don’t know if there was (an offside), I just saw the ball and I ran to it,” said Araujo.

In the 33rd minute both teams increased the tempo of the game and the midfield battle increased in intensity. By the 41st minute, with the first half running out, Morales scored his second, this time on a cross from Wingert. "The first 45 minutes were probably the best soccer I have seen in Rio Tinto Stadium. I was very pleased," said Kreis

The second half started straight off with little change, both in the lineups and in the balance of play on the field. LA striker Chad Barrett gave way to Miguel Lopez, as Bruce Arena desperately looked for a way back into the match.

It was not to be.

A mental lapse by LA’s defense allowed Fabian Espindola to set up Pablo Araujo Jr for the young striker's first MLS goal. A disappointed Arena pointed to his centebacks. "The communication between Leonardo and DeLaGarza wasn’t there," he said.

Angel scored off a Beckham free kick in the 80th minute, RSL keeper Rimando whiffing on a chance to make the save, to give the game it's final 4-1 scoreline. “It was good (to score), but I wish it would have been under different circumstances," said Angel.

“I knew if I could get the ball in early, it could cause trouble," said Beckham. "Obviously it did, because Juan was on the end of it. But it was a consolation goal.”

RSL's dominant performance puts them in the Western Conference driver's seat. LA heads home to lick their wounds before hosting the Union next week.

On his two goals vs. LA Morales said, “The truth is I am very happy, but the most important thing was the victory – at home, with four goals – against a team like the Galaxy. It’s something very important to us.”

"I was very pleased with Araujo when he had the ball at his feet...he obviously made a lot of things happen,” said RSL head coach Jason Kreis about his young striker.

“We came up against a good team tonight, and they out played us,” Beckham said.

Bruce Arena pulled no punches with his evaluation of his side. "It was easy to say that every [LA] player was outplayed by someone wearing a Real Salt Lake shirt."

LA coach Arena was disappointed in the defensive play of his team “we have to move forward, that’s all there is to say about that” he said after the disappointing loss. Beckham said “we have to forget this game, learn from this game…learn from our attitude in the beginning of this game”.

Both teams walk away from this match with a lot, good or bad respectively, to ponder.

Jair Marrufo

Starting lineups-

Rimando, Olave, Borchers, Russellm(Beltran 63), Wingert, Beckerman, Williams (Warner 69), Grabavoy, Morales, Espindola, Araujo Jr (Gil 76)
Not used: Reynish, Alexandre, Schuler, Chinn

Saunders, Franklin, DeLaGarza, Leonardo, Dunivant, Birchall, Juninho, Stephens (Cardozo 58), Beckham (Jordan 88), Angel, Barrett (Lopez 46)
Not used: Perk, Hejduk, Kirovski, Magee

RSL – Williams (2’- Araujo), Morales (10’ –PK, 41’-Wingert), Araujo (68’-Espindola)
LA – Angel (80’- Beckham)

Discipline: LA: Saunders Yellow-10, Lopez Yellow -45, Leonardo Yellow -73

Attendance 20, 507 (Rio Tinto record)

blog comments powered by Disqus
    KKTC Bahis Siteleri, Online Bahis



    Privacy Policy