Preview: RSL at LA Galaxy
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will kick off its tenth Major League Soccer season on Saturday, when it will take on western conference rival LA Galaxy at 8:30 p.m. MT at StubHub Center.
Saturday’s match will be broadcast live on ABC 4 and ESPN 700 AM. ABC 4’s pregame coverage will begin at 8:00 p.m. MT. ESPN700 will begin its pregame coverage at 7:30 p.m. MT and will air an hour-long postgame show starting immediately following the final whistle.
Real Salt Lake enters the 2014 MLS regular season looking to build on the success the club achieved in 2013. Last year, the Claret-and-Cobalt reached the postseason for the sixth-consecutive year – the longest active streak in the league – with a 16-10-8 regular season record, won the Western Conference Championship, reached MLS Cup 2013 and made it to the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final.
Saturday’s match will be a significant one as it will be newly appointed RSL Head Coach Jeff Cassar’s first official MLS game in charge of Real Salt Lake. Cassar was appointed the head position after former long-time head coach Jason Kreis left the club in December. Cassar is one of Real Salt Lake’s longest-serving staff members, initially joining RSL in 2007 as an assistant coach.
The season opener could prove significant in another way as LA Galaxy FW Landon Donovan is currently pursuing Major League Soccer’s all-time regular season goal scoring mark. The U.S. international is currently tied for first in league history with ex-RSL FW Jeff Cunningham for the record with 134 regular season goals.
Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy last met in the 2013 MLS Western Conference Semifinals, with the Claret-and-Cobalt defeating the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cup Champions 2-1 on aggregate in the two-legged series. RSL went down 1-0 in the first leg at StubHub Center but then went on to advance to the Western Conference Championship series with a 2-0 win over LA after extra time at Rio Tinto Stadium in the second leg of the semifinals. Real Salt Lake MF Sebastian Velasquez put RSL on the board in the 35th minute of the second leg, heading home for the first goal of his career. The game went on to extra time, with the game-winner scored in the 102nd minute by RSL DF Chris Schuler – his first goal of 2013.
Real Salt Lake went 1-2-0 against LA Galaxy in the 2013 regular season. The sides first met last year on April 27 at Rio Tinto Stadium which resulted in a 2-0 loss for the Claret-and-Cobalt. The next meeting was a 3-1 win over LA at Rio Tinto Stadium on June 8 followed by a 4-2 loss at StubHub Center on Aug. 17.
Real Salt Lake will field a squad on Saturday that closely resembles the successful Claret-and-Cobalt lineups of 2013. RSL’s offseason saw very little roster change with the only new additions being English MF Luke Mulholland and Homegrown Player Jordan Allen. Former RSL DF Lovel Palmer and MF Yordany Alvarez were the club’s major departures, traded to Chicago Fire and USL Pro team Orlando City Soccer Club respectively.
After Saturday’s season opener, Real Salt Lake continues its difficult start to the 2014 season on the road, taking on San Jose Earthquakes on March 15 at Buck Shaw Stadium at 8:30 p.m. MT. The Claret-and-Cobalt will have its home opener on March 22 when RSL will face LA Galaxy again at Rio Tinto Stadium at 2:00 p.m. MT. Tickets to the home opener, 2014 RSL Season Tickets and 2014 single-game tickets are all now on sale at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, over the phone at 801-727-2700 or online.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake at LA Galaxy
- Kickoff: 8:30 p.m. MT at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
- TV: ABC 4 (Pregame Show begins at 8:00 p.m. MT)
- English Radio: ESPN700 AM (Pregame begins at 7:30 p.m. MT)
- Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide match updates
Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL at LA Match Now Available Online
RSL History v. LA Galaxy
Real Salt Lake has an up-and-down history against LA, posting a 10-10-5 regular season record against the Galaxy and an 11-12-6 mark when including MLS Cup Playoff matches. RSL is 5-7-1 in regular season action at LA, and 5-9-1 at the Galaxy in regular season and playoff action. Historically, the Claret-and-Cobalt is 11-16-3 all-time in regular season and playoff action at StubHub center against LA and co-tenants Chivas USA.