Real Salt Lake Visits City Of Angels With Clear Objective
SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake travels to Los Angeles for a date with the Galaxy this Saturday evening with a win the only acceptable result in the final road game of the season.
It has been well publicized, but despite only winning 4 out of their previous 18 matches, Real Salt Lake still controls their own destiny. Two wins to end the regular season will result in the club scrapping into the playoffs and occupying the seventh seed in the west.
Win Or (Likely) Go Home
It all starts this weekend on the road against the Galaxy before concluding at home with a fixture against Portland Timbers on October 9.
Unfortunately, Real Salt Lake is still without captain Damir Kreilach and striker Bobby Wood. Kreilach is recovering from back surgery and has only appeared in five games this season while Wood is recovering from abductor surgery.
Nevertheless, the club continues to be impressed with newly signed players Braian Ojeda and Bryan Oviedo, in particular. They have sparked the RSL dressing room since arriving towards the end of the summer transfer window.
Both players recently returned from international duty with Paraguay and Costa Rica respectively where they started for their countries in friendlies during the break. It is likely that both players start again for RSL on Saturday evening given their recent importance to the roster.
It remains unknown what shape manager Pablo Mastroeni will opt to utilize against the Galaxy. For the majority of the season, RSL has utilized a 4-2-3-1 formation but Mastroeni has become accustomed to a 3-5-2 over recent weeks.
Caught up with #RSL manager Pablo Mastroeni ahead of the clubs must win road clash against the LA Galaxy this weekend.
Hear the full interview below 👇
— Tom Hackett (@TomCantHackett) September 30, 2022
Regardless of the formation, Real Salt Lake has got to find a way to score goals against the Galaxy. In their last MLS fixture against Cincinnati, the club notched 18 shots with 8 of them on target and only scored one goal. Conversely, Cincinnati managed just 8 shots and 3 on target but scored twice to pick up an unlikely three points on the road.
Unlike last season, Real Salt Lake has struggled to score goals down the stretch despite creating good opportunities. If RSL is to qualify for the postseason they will need to convert the solid goal-scoring opportunities into goals.
The club still controls its own destiny, despite the chaotic and frustrating second half of the season. A win against the Galaxy would invigorate the club and provide much-needed momentum into the clash at home against Portland.
What To Know About The Galaxy
The Galaxy is run by Riqui Puig and Gastón Brugman who frequently dominate the midfield. Mastroeni spoke to KSL Sports on Friday about the importance of winning the midfield battle this upcoming weekend.
“What we want to do is to control the midfield,” Mastroeni said. “What they have is quality and industry in the middle of the midfield, and so for us it is really important to neutralize. They’re [Puig and Brugman] the engine room, the creative room,” he added.
The Galaxy is also bolstered by the talented play of Chicharito, Douglas Costa, Kévin Cabral, Efraín Álvarez, and Julián Araujo.
The Galaxy most recently beat San Jose 3-2 and find themselves fifth in the western conference just three points clear of RSL.
RSL vs. LA Galaxy Match Info
Real Salt Lake will travel to Los Angeles for an 8:30 p.m. kickoff on October 1st from Dignity Health Sports Park.
Real Salt Lake last beat the Galaxy 1-0 on April 30 at America First Field in their only other fixture this season. Marcelo Silva’s second-half header from a corner kick was the only goal of the game.
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