Real Salt Lake Expected To Break Club Record As LA Galaxy Arrives In Utah
SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake is expected to sell out Rio Tinto Stadium for the fourth consecutive match to open MLS play in 2022. It is the first time in club history that Real Salt Lake has opened the season in front of four sell-out home crowds.
Confidence Is Key
The club enters the fixture coming off an impressive 0-0 draw on the road against Portland in a game that saw the visitors produce the best goal-scoring opportunities. Real Salt Lake was content with the road result but admitted following the conclusion of the game that they should have left Providence Park with all three points.
Pablo Ruiz hit the woodwork from six yards out midway through the second half and Maikel Chang’s volley from inside the six-yard box went straight into the waiting gloves of Timbers goalkeeper Aljaž Ivačič shortly after the Ruiz miss. Real Salt Lake defended well and maintained shape throughout the game, something that was a focus point entering the fixture considering the 6-0 dismantling that the club endured a week prior at Yankee Stadium.
Nevertheless, Real Salt Lake returns to Rio Tinto Stadium as it prepares for the dangerous LA Galaxy.
MacMath Over Ochoa, For Now
David Ochoa has returned to Utah following a call-up to the Mexican National Team but manager Pablo Mastroeni told KSL Sports that Zac MacMath will remain in between the sticks for Real Salt Lake this week against the Galaxy.
“We’re going to go with Zac [MacMath],” Mastroeni said. “Zac has had a fantastic start to the campaign. The goalkeeper position is not a position that you switch out from week out to week in and unfortunately, Ochoa has been out with injury and so it is about getting games now so we are finding the right balance as to what that looks like,” he added.
Kreilach Status & Recent Acquisitions
Captain Damir Kreilach also remains questionable entering the fixture as he continues to rehab a back injury that he sustained against New York City F.C. It has been a frustrating season for Kreilach thus far who has only managed three starts and five appearances throughout the opening nine games of the season.
Fortunately, Real Salt Lake has been active on the transfer market as the club announced that Anderson Julio will return to Real Salt Lake on a three-year contract following his loan spell in 2021 that saw him score 8 goals in 30 appearances. Then, earlier today Fabrizio Romano announced that the club has agreed to sign Jefferson Savarino following a two-year stint in Brazil. The club, however, is yet to confirm the Savarino signing.
The Power Of LA
The Galaxy is much improved in 2022 following the signing of Gregg Vanney who joined the Galaxy after a terrific six-year spell at Toronto that included the 2017 MLS Cup and three MLS Cup appearances.
The Galaxy has welcomed former Bayern Munich and Juventus star Douglas Costa to the team who has contributed one goal in his seven appearances. Furthermore, Mexican star Javier Hernández, otherwise known as Chicharito, is back to his goal-scoring best with five goals in nine appearances so far in 2022.
The Galaxy currently sits in the third position in the Western Conference, three points clear of Real Salt Lake in the sixth position.
Most recently, the Galaxy beat Nashville 1-0 last Saturday, April 23rd, thanks to a Dejan Joveljić 86th minute game-winner.
Real Salt Lake returns home to host the LA Galaxy on Saturday, April 30, with kickoff scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
The match will be available to watch via the KSL Sports and KSL 5 TV app or on KSL Sports dot com.
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