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What we’re watching in LA Galaxy vs RSL

RSL return to the StubHub Center in hopes of another win over the Galaxy.

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Los Angeles Galaxy Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The major turning point in Real Salt Lake’s season came with the 6-2 win over the LA Galaxy on July 4th. Since that game, RSL have gone 7-2-3, earning 24 points in 12 games. Only Atlanta United have a better record in their last 12 games with 25 points. The Galaxy have struggled in that time, earning just six points in the same timespan.

If RSL want to make the playoffs, this is a must win game.

Center Forward

This has, far and away, been the most controversial position for Real this season. There is a lot that has gone into that; Cassar was let go, Yura underperformed, Silva showed he could do a job in that spot, and Lennon has experience there too. After RSL’s 2-0 win over the Sounders, Lennon demonstrated that he could contribute to the team in that role, even if he’s playing wider than a typical number nine. Luis Silva is listed as questionable on the injury report with a groin issue, but he did travel to LA. This game is important, so it’s really anyone’s guess if Lennon will get the start again, if Yura is given another chance, or if Silva is feeling up to the job.

LA Attack

On Wednesday, LA was able to put two goals (plus an unfortunate own goal from Beasley) passed the Houston defense to draw 3-3. Alessandrini is a dangerous player who is sitting on 11 goals for this season. Giovani dos Santos may not always get the service he needs, but he is a creative attacker. RSL’s back line should stay the same: Beltran, M. Silva, Glad, and Acosta. This crew has done a great job when playing together and should be capable of holding off LA.

Albert Rusnak

The Slovakian number 10 leads RSL with 13 assists and 7 goals in the season. He is 5th in the league for assists. Much of RSL’s production this season has come through him. His passing is sharp, and he can pull off a shot when you aren’t expecting it. If you’re going to keep an eye on any one player, he’s the one to pick. Watch how he connects the ball from the defense and transitions into attack.