Real Salt Lake fell in their second-to-last preseason match by a score of 1-0 to the five-time MLS Cup champions LA Galaxy. A lackluster performance at best, this was a little hard to watch for Salt Lake fans, especially with the regular season less than two weeks away.
Both teams fielded squads featuring mostly younger players in the first half, with the exception of Chris Wingert, Luis Silva, and Chad Barrett on the RSL side.
LA came held the majority of possession out of the gate, putting a couple chances on frame for Van Oekel to collect. Once the pace slowed down a bit, RSL was able to put on a bit of pressure and contain the ball in the midfield, having a few opportunities to push the ball forward.
Ricardo Velazco had a great opportunity around the 30th minute (there was no game clock on the YouTube feed for the first half, so that’s a ballpark guess) on the counter breakaway when he found himself behind the defense thanks to a well-placed through ball. He had Barrett running to his left — also behind the defense — and opted to take on the goalkeeper with a chip, which landed just inches outside the far post and went behind for a goal kick.
The Galaxy opened the scoring in the 40th minute, thanks to a toe poke from the USL youngster Jaime Villarreal. The goal came off a cross in from Emmanuel Boateng — aka “The RSL Killer” — that found Villarreal unmarked on the far post for an easy finish to put the LA side up 1-0.
The second half saw an entire lineup switch for the claret and cobalt, which brought in what’s expected to be close to our regular season opening day starting XI. This brought a new sense of energy and pace to the match, as was expected.
The Galaxy made their full line switch in the 62nd minute, which seemed to take the wind out of RSL’s sails altogether as they appeared to control possession and enjoy the majority of the attacking play. LA would continue to dictate the tempo for the rest of the game.
Demar Phillips came off in the 77th minute with an apparent injury while Monarchs defender Max Lachowecki came on to replace him. Phillips walked off the field, so fingers crossed that the injury is nothing serious.
The 81st minute saw a chance come for RSL when Sunny got his head to an Albert Rusnak corner kick, but the ball just went wide and over the bar.
The game wrapped up with Villarreal’s effort standing as the lone goal in RSL’s 1-0 loss to the Galaxy.
RSL has one more game on their preseason slate as they take on Armenian champions Alashkert FC on Friday in Southern California.
First half starting XI: Van Oekel; Dunk, Schmidt, Orozco, Wingert; Holness, Silva, Hernandez; Brody, Barrett, Velazco
Second half starting XI: Rimando; Beltran, Horst, Schuler, Phillips; Sunny, Rusnak, Mulholland; Allen, Movsisyan, Plata