Match Preview presented by BeWaterWise: LA Galaxy look for a W against RSL

LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake
2017 MLS Regular Season
StubHub Center – Carson, Calif.
Saturday, September 30 – 7:30 pm PT
WATCH: LA Channel Guide

The LA Galaxy’s eight-year Audi MLS Cup Playoffs streak is officially over, as they were eliminated from the 2017 postseason on Wednesday, but there are three games left in the MLS regular season, beginning with Saturday’s meeting against Western Conference foe Real Salt Lake.

While the Galaxy will likely use the final games of the year to evaluate the talent and attempt to work on aspects of their game heading into 2018, RSL are still in the thick of the MLS playoff race and will be eager to pick up as many points as possible to ensure qualification. At present, they sit in fifth place, but they are level on points with the team below them, FC Dallas, and the two teams below the playoff line in the west are within two points. In effect, four teams appear to be going for two playoff spots, and while RSL are above the line, they can’t rest assured they will make the postseason just yet.

The Galaxy are coming off short rest, having traveled to Houston to play the Dynamo on Wednesday, and drawing 3-3. While the offensive showing was heartening, LA were at one point ahead 3-1 before conceding two second-half goals by Alberth Elis to drop two points. Add in the fact that Saturday’s match will be at home, where LA have put in a 2-9-4 mark in league play this season, far and away the worst home record in MLS, and that the winner of the last two games between these teams was the road team, and RSL’s playoff hopes may get just the boost they’re seeking.

LA Galaxy

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next yellow card: D Bradley Diallo, D Nathan Smith
  • Int’l Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D Robbie Rogers (ankle), M Sebastian Lletget (foot), M Baggio Husidic (leg), D Pele Van Anholt (torn ACL), D Daniel Steres (back); QUESTIONABLE – D Bradley Diallo (hamstring)

Projected Starting XI 
(4-2-3-1, left to right)
GK: Clement Diop — Ashley Cole, Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Gyasi Zardes — Jermaine Jones, Joao Pedro — Emmanuel Boateng, Jonathan dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini — Giovani dos Santos

Notes: The Galaxy have just three goals in their last six home games (1W-4L-1D), tied for the second-fewest home goals for a MLS club since July 19th. Their -7 goal differential at home is also the worst in the league in that time … Romain Alessandrini has six goals and assists in his last 12 appearances for the Galaxy. He had 15 in his first 15 games with the team.

Real Salt Lake

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next yellow card: D Chris Schuler, M Sunny
  • Int’l Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: F Chad Barrett (knee), M Jordan Allen (knee), M Omar Holness (knee), M Ricardo Velazco (ankle); QUESTIONABLE D Demar Phillips (hamstring), F Luis Silva (groin)

Projected Starting XI 
(4-2-3-1, left to right): 
GK: Nick Rimando — Danny Acosta, Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva, Tony Beltran — Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland — Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata — Brooks Lennon

Notes: Real Salt Lake have scored in eight consecutive MLS away games, their longest such streak since scoring in 10 straight from April 13-Aug. 21, 2013. However, they have gone just 3W-5L in that time…Jefferson Savarino has two goals and two assists Real Salt Lake’s last three matches. He had four goals and three assists in his first 17 games for the club.

All-Time Series

This is the third and final MLS regular season meeting between the teams in 2017. Interestingly, the road team won the first two matches, with LA prevailing 2-1 on March 18 and RSL posting a 6-2 rout on July 4.

  • Overall: LA 14 wins (55 goals) … Salt Lake 13 wins (60 goals) … Ties 8
  • At LA: LA 10 wins (31 goals) … Salt Lake 7 wins (30 goals) … Ties 1

Referees

Referee: Rubiel Vazquez
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Cameron Blanchard
Fourth Official: Hilario Grajeda
VAR: Ramy Touchan


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