Preview: RSL v. LA Galaxy

RSL set to open 2014 home schedule against rival LA Galaxy

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will kick off its 2014 home slate on Saturday, when it hosts Western Conference foe LA Galaxy in its home opener at 2:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Saturday’s match will be nationally televised live on NBC Sports Network and locally on ESPN 700 AM. A very limited amount of tickets remain to Saturday’s game; they can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, over the phone at 801-727-2700 or online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets.

Real Salt Lake has gone 1-0-1 in its first two matches of the 2014 MLS regular season, collecting a total of four points from two tough road matches. RSL got things off to a good start, earning a 1-0 win at LA Galaxy in its season opener on March 8. The Claret-and-Cobalt then took on San Jose Earthquakes, going ahead 3-1 at halftime before conceding twice in the second half to draw 3-3 at Buck Shaw Stadium on March 15.

Saturday’s match will be LA Galaxy’s second MLS match of the 2014 regular season. RSL and the Southern California side faced off in the clubs’ 2014 season opener at StubHub Center. The Claret-and-Cobalt pulled off a dramatic 1-0 win with a goal from RSL FW Joao Plata in the 80th minute and a second half stoppage time penalty kick save from GK Nick Rimando to preserve the three points. The match marked Rimando’s 109th MLS career shutout, three short of the all-time MLS record currently held by retired GK Kevin Hartman.

LA is coming off of a tough loss in its CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal series against Mexican side Club Tijuana. The Galaxy took the series’ first leg on March 11, beating their cross-border rival 1-0 at StubHub Center. LA couldn’t hold its lead in the second leg however, falling 4-2 at Tijuana on Tuesday to drop the series 4-3 on aggregate.

Saturday’s home opener will give LA Galaxy FW Landon Donovan another shot at breaking 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 with 134 regular season goals.

The last time RSL and LA met at Rio Tinto Stadium was in the second leg of the 2013 MLS Western Conference Semifinals, where RSL defeated LA Galaxy 2-0 after extra time to net a 2-1 series win and advance to the Western Conference Championship series. RSL lost the first leg of that series 1-0 at StubHub Center, but staged a comeback at home to knock out the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cup Champions with goals from MF Sebastian Velasquez and DF Chris Schuler.

Real Salt Lake FW Joao Plata has had a terrific start to the 2014 regular season. The Ecuador native has notched goals in both of RSL’s first two matches, scoring the game-winner against LA Galaxy on March 8 and notching RSL’s second goal in its 3-3 draw with San Jose Earthquakes on March 15. RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman will continue his climb up the MLS record books on Saturday, likely earning his 299th regular season start to move into a tie for seventh-place all-time with current New England Revolution Head Coach Jay Heaps. 

Real Salt Lake is likely to be missing a few players on Saturday due to injury. RSL DF Aaron Maund injured his hamstring last week against the Earthquakes and is likely to miss the home opener. RSL MF Sebastian Velasquez is currently dealing with a similar hamstring injury and FW Devon Sandoval and FW Robbie Findley are still recovering from offseason surgeries.

After Saturday’s home opener, Real Salt Lake will host revamped Toronto FC on March 29 at Rio Tinto Stadium at 7:30 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 v. LA Galaxy

  • Kickoff: 2:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
  • TV: NBC Sports Network
  • English Radio: ESPN700 AM (Pregame begins at 1:00 p.m. MT)
  • Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide match updates

Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL-LA Match Now Available Online

Click here to download the PDF version of the MLS Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL-LA matchup

RSL History v. LA Galaxy

Real Salt Lake has a decent history against LA, posting an 11-10-5 regular season record against the Galaxy and a 12-12-6 mark when including MLS Cup Playoff matches. RSL has been successful when playing at home against the Galaxy, posting a 5-3-4 record in Utah in regular season and playoff action.