Galaxy-Real Salt Lake Preview
The Los Angeles Galaxy appear to have a stiff challenge as they attempt to bounce back from one of the most lopsided defeats in franchise history.
A visit to Real Salt Lake - one of the top teams in the Western Conference - is next for the short-handed Galaxy, who look for their third straight win at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night.
After routing Seattle 4-0 at home May 26, Los Angeles (6-5-2) was on the other end of a blowout Sunday, falling 5-0 at New England. The Galaxy's margin of defeat matched their 5-0 loss at New York/New Jersey on June 15, 2002, as the worst the franchise has suffered.
"It's gone. It's in the past, and everyone is looking forward (to RSL) to improve and possibly get the three points so to forget as soon as you can the loss," goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini told the league's official website.
Getting those three points could be difficult considering Salt Lake is 4-1-2 at home. Los Angeles, though, handed RSL (7-5-3) that lone defeat, 2-0 on April 27, despite getting outshot 20-8.
This time, the Galaxy likely won't have a couple of their top players. Captain Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez are off on international duty, and Todd Dunivant's status is unknown because of a leg injury.
"We cannot cry and we cannot think about this. (Keane is) not here. Omar is not here," midfielder Marcelo Sarvas told the team's official website. "The guys that step on the field know that they must take the responsibility and it is their opportunity to show to the (coaching staff) that they can play."
The only player missing for Salt Lake, meanwhile, is goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who is with the U.S. national team along with Gonzalez.
Rimando helped lead his club to a 3-0 win over San Jose last Saturday. Robbie Findley, Ned Grabavoy and Javier Morales each scored their third goal of the season.
Salt Lake has outscored opponents 14-6 during a 4-1-1 stretch after being outscored 9-7 in its 3-4-2 start.
"We should improve every game," said Morales, who also assisted on Grabavoy's goal. "Right now we're playing our good soccer, so we'll have to keep going forward."
Los Angeles has alternated wins and losses in its last four league games and in its past five regular-season matchups against Real Salt Lake. Landon Donovan had two goals and an assist in a 3-2 road win June 20.