Galaxy-Real Salt Lake Preview
Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena insists that his star-studded club's scoring woes will soon end.
It may be not be this weekend, judging from how Los Angeles has fared on the road against Real Salt Lake.
The Galaxy are winless in their last six visits to Utah heading into Saturday night's matchup.
Los Angeles (13-8-8) is the league's highest-scoring team with 49 goals but has come up empty in two consecutive games for the second time this year after last Saturday's draw with Montreal. The Galaxy haven't gone three straight without scoring since 2007.
Arena, however, isn't worried.
"If we could create a practice session to score goals, then you're in a dream world," he told the club's official website. "We score the most goals in the league as a starting point. If everyone could have a training session to score goals, then they'd be doing it every time. We'd have games that are 10-9 all the time."
The Galaxy don't plan on changing anything with their attack. Robbie Keane is tied for third in MLS with 15 goals and Sebastian Lletget and Gyasi Zardes have combined for 13.
"The hardest part of soccer is scoring goals," Arena said. "Sometimes you don't get goals, but we have players that are capable of scoring goals, so I would imagine over time they'll produce goals."
Los Angeles has scored 36 times in 15 home games compared to 13 in 14 on the road.
That's a concern since the Galaxy are enduring an 0-3-3 stretch in Salt Lake City in which they have scored twice. The clubs played to a scoreless draw in Utah on May 6 and Real Salt Lake (9-11-8) beat Los Angeles 1-0 in a U.S. Open Cup match at home July 14.
Time is running out for Salt Lake, which is six points out of a playoff spot with six games left. The club's hopes got a boost with last Saturday's 3-1 victory at Houston.
Playmaking midfielder Javier Morales had a goal and an assist, giving him team highs of seven and 10.
"He's always trying to improve and prove a point and get better and have the team get better," coach Jeff Cassar told the club's official website. "He's a special person and a special player."
Designated player Juan Manuel Martinez scored in his first career start and Devon Sandoval had the other goal.
One concern for Salt Lake is that it traveled to El Salvador for a CONCACAF Champions League game Tuesday, playing to a scoreless draw with Santa Tecla FC. Cassar mixed in some younger players, though stalwarts Tony Beltran and Luke Mulholland started while Morales and Kyle Beckerman entered off the bench.
"You have to take it one game at a time," Beltran said. "It's tough because you're excited from the weekend's results and you want to continue moving forward in the league and you're ready to play that next game and make a playoff push."
Arena said that Giovani dos Santos is OK after the Mexican star left last weekend's match at halftime with groin soreness. Brazilian defender Leonardo is available after he was suspended against the Impact.