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Real Salt Lake mounts 3-1 comeback against LA Galaxy in preseason opener

RSL’s first preseason match of 2018 saw the team make a statement against LA Galaxy.

MLS: LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

It took half the match for Real Salt Lake’s first preseason game to turn in their favor, going 1-0 down early on, but a second-half recovery effort saw the team run out winners over LA Galaxy.

The first good chance of the day came when Ola Kamara and Romain Alessandrini combined to good effect on a breakaway, but an onrushing Justen Glad slowed play down just enough to prevent any real damage to the scoreline.

Another opportunity came only a few minutes later, when a cross in found Alessandrini’s head, but the dangerous winger’s header, while beating RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando, couldn’t find its way past a timely clearance from Danilo Acosta, in at center back for the occasion.

The 18th minute saw the first opportunity for RSL after Jose Hernandez and Joao Plata won the ball from Jonathan dos Santos on the LA end of the middle third. Plata beat the Galaxy defense before firing a shot that stung LA keeper David Bingham’s hands. The ensuing rebound fell to Plata, but the play eventually fizzled out with a clearance.

Joao Plata nearly found the first goal of the match when he burst down the left flank, taking the ball from the defensive third into a shot that smacked the far post along the ground, beating Perry Kitchen and Bingham along the way.

The 31st minute saw an 11-player change for LA Galaxy, which really just meant that we went another match without Emanuel Boateng putting one past us. It didn’t take long after that for the Galaxy to score, with a near-instant impact with Michael Ciani scoring a headed goal from a deep free kick served in by Sebastian Lletget.

In nearly the next play, RSL squandered a perfect opportunity when LA goalkeeper Brian Silvestre put his tossed pass right at the feet of Luis Silva, who then burst past the keeper, and his cut back in to Brooks Lennon saw a quick clearance and an RSL corner. The score remained at said point until the halftime whistle.

It took a penalty to level things up; awarded after video replay early in the second half to determine whether a foul on Sebastian Velasquez was inside or outside the box, Sebastian Saucedo dispatched smoothly to the goalkeeper’s right for the goal.

Nick Besler pushed the scoreline to 2-1 in RSL’s favor after he finished a rebounded save by Silvestre; it was David Horst who put his header on a corner just inside the goalkeeper’s reach but outside the possibility of a comfortable save.

Sebastian Velasquez lifted the scoreline to 3-1 after he finished an excellent bit of combination play between Corey Baird and Aaron Herrera on the right flank. The Real Monarchs player’s finish was a simple one, and that’s all it needed to be.

First-half lineup

Rimando; Henley, Glad, Acosta, Phillips; Beckerman, Mulholland; Lennon, Hernandez, Plata; Silva

Second-half lineup

Sparrow; Herrera, Barry, Horst, Diosa* (82, academy player); Sunny (85, Portillo*), Besler, Velasquez (Monarchs); Baird, Ortuño (71’, Lopez-Espin), Saucedo

*: Real Monarchs player