Real Salt Lake returns to Rio Tinto from their three-match road trip to face the LA Galaxy on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:
1. RSL is coming off two straight road wins, 2-1 at Houston and 6-0 at Colorado, just their second and third of the season. RSL were up two goals and two men at the half after the Rapids received two early red cards, but it wasn’t enough for head coach Mike Petke who made an offensive substitution, Corey Baird on for Sunny, at the break. Nick Rimando, who picked up a hamstring injury on August 15 against LAFC, returned to the lineup after sitting out 2 matches.
Jefferson Savarino’s 2 goals and 1 assist brought him to 5 goals and 8 assists on the season, making him RSL’s sixth player with 5 or more goals in 2018. Albert Rusnak leads the team with 8 goals and 6 assists, Joao Plata has 8 goals and 5 assists, Damir Kreilach has 7 goals and 6 assists, Corey Baird has 6 goals and 4 assists, and Luis Sliva has 5 goals.
The consecutive road wins brought the Claret & Cobalt’s record to 12-10-5 and 4th place in the west.
2. Saturday’s match will be the second between LA Galaxy and RSL, the first resulted in a 3-0 loss for RSL in LA on June 9. Real Salt Lake is 13-15-9 against the Galaxy all-time, but 6-4-7 in Utah and 4-3-4 at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL hasn’t beaten the Galaxy at RioT since their 3-0 win on September 19, 2015. Even with the Galaxy’s recent slide in form, Mike Petke knows they can’t take this team lightly:
Real is 9-1-3 at Rio Tinto Stadium in 2018, their only home loss coming on March 10 against LAFC.
RSL’s injury list is as follows:
OUT: Tony Beltran (knee 10/15/17), Jordan Allen (knee 6/16/17), Demar Phillips (ankle 4/7/18), Alex Horwath (achilles 4/18/18), Luke Mulholland (back 5/2/18), Ricky Lopez-Espin (knee 6/13/18), David Horst (achilles 6/26/18), Connor Sparrow (knee 7/2/18).
QUESTIONABLE: Marcelo Silva (ankle 8/14/18), Pablo Ruiz (knee 8/18/18)
3. The LA Galaxy has gone 0-2-3 in their last five matches, dropping them to 7th place in the west with a record of 10-9-8, and is coming off a 1-1 draw with LAFC last weekend. The Galaxy is 4-5-5 on the road this season, where they have conceded 24 goals and scored 20. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had 2 goals last time these two teams met, leads LAG with 16 goals and 7 assists, Ola Kamara has 9 goals and 3 assists, Romain Alessandrini has 8 goals and 5 assists, and Chris Pontius has 5 goals and 6 assists.
Though they’ve missed recent matches, all four of LA’s injured players reportedly trained this week:
QUESTIONABLE: Romain Alessandrini (knee), Giovani dos Santos (leg), Jonathan dos Santos (groin), Michael Ciani (hamstring).
Our coverage of Real Salt Lake vs LA Galaxy begins on Saturday, September 1 at 7 P.M. with Tom Hackett and Spencer Warne. Kick-off is at 8 P.M. with Bill Riley and Jay Nolly.