Real Salt Lake’s 2014 season came to a crashing halt on Sunday at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., with a 5-0 loss to the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference Semifinals.
LA MF Landon Donovan had three goals and an assist while FW Robbie Keane had one goal and three assists as the Galaxy raced to an early lead and never looked back. After outshooting LA 16-3 in the first leg at Rio Tinto Stadium eight days earlier, RSL was outshot 19-4 on Sunday.
Salt Lake entered the match with the defensive momentum of a scoreless draw in the first leg of the series at Rio Tinto Stadium on Nov. 1. However, that momentum was halted early in the match.
RSL finally saw its shutout streak put to an end after 413 minutes when Donovan put the Galaxy in the lead in the 10th minute. LA built up the right side and MF Marcelo Sarvas led into position for a cross DF A.J. DeLaGarza crossed the ball into the box. He sent it in to Donovan for a header at the far post that found the back of the net and the Galaxy snagged a 1-0 lead.
LA continued to apply pressure and in the 20th minute, that deficit jumped to 2-0 when Keane scored for the Galaxy. MF Juninho led Donovan into the left corner of the box and he crossed to Keane at the far post for a sliding first-time shot.
The Galaxy was forced to make a substitution in the 37th minute when DF Leonardo went down with an injury and he was replaced by DF Tommy Meyer.
In the 54th minute, Donovan struck again, getting freed up the left side on a ball from Keane, touching the ball around the oncoming RSL GK Nick Rimando and lifting it into the net for his second goal of the night and a 3-0 Galaxy lead.
RSL’s first shot on goal came in the 58th minute when MF Kyle Beckerman got his head to a cross from MF Javier Morales. LA GK Jaime Penedo sprung to his right to knock down the would-be goal though and Salt Lake continue to press for that elusive first goal.
Instead, Sarvas made it 4-0 in the 63rd minute when he got into the box and pushed a shot into the box on an assist from Keane, who finished the match with one goal and two assists.
Donovan completed the hat trick in the 72nd minute, hitting an arching pass from Keane first time off the volley to make it 5-0.
The Claret-and-Cobalt finished the year with a 15-10-12 record across all competitions after finishing the season third in the Western Conference at 15-8-11 in HC Jeff Cassar’s first season in charge.
Subscribe to ESPN700's News!
Get the latest sports news, contests and flyaways, and more straight to your inbox with our weekly emails.