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Match preview: Real Salt Lake hosts short-handed LA Galaxy

The LA Galaxy, missing a slew of players to injury and international duty, will take a crack at Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium.

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

Real Salt Lake will look to bounce back from a disappointing 2-1 loss to LAFC last week as they take on the other LA team when the Galaxy roll into town. The LA boys have won three of their last five, but they’ve been without star striker Chicharito for the last three games straight thanks to a calf injury he suffered a couple weeks ago. His timeline was unclear according to Galaxy boss Greg Vanney, and although he’s listed as out on the injury report, Vanney says his outlook is questionable ahead of tonight’s match so who knows if he’ll see the field at Rio Tinto Stadium or not.

We saw two drastically different performances from Real Salt Lake in their last two outings. There’s the one team that was firing on all cylinders, looking like a well-oiled machine and took down the Vancouver Whitecaps 4-0, which included a brace from the team’s leading scorer Damir Kreilach. Then there’s the team that allowed a late goal from LAFC’s Carlos Vela in the 79th minute while letting the opposition outshoot them 29-3 overall on the night. Of course, Aaron Herrera scored his first-ever MLS goal in the first half of that game, and David Ochoa stopped a Vela penalty, but those were among the very few highlights from the home side in that contest.

Freddy Juarez will likely stick with the 4-2-3-1 being held by Everton Luiz and Pablo Ruiz with Damir Kreilach in the middle just ahead of them, flanked by Albert Rusnak and Justin Meram. Who starts up top at striker is the million dollar question, though. It’ll come down to either Rubio Rubin, who just inked a hefty contract extension, or newcomer Bobby Wood who has yet to find his natural rhythm with the team in the few minutes he’s seen on the field.

The Galaxy are fresh off a 2-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps at Rio Tinto Stadium, which bodes well for RSL who will hope to make it two losses in a row for LA at the RioT. Midfielder Rayan Raveloson notched the visitors’ lone goal in his first and only appearance for the Galaxy all season long. LA is dealing with a bunch of other absences aside from Chicharito, including a handful of players out in Gold Cup action including Sebastian Lletget, Oneil Fisher, Efrain Alvarez, Giancarlo Gonzalez, and Jonathan dos Santos. Luckily, RSL didn’t get hit by the Gold Cup call-ups so they’ll be relatively full strength, and will hopefully be able to take advantage of LA being down so many players.

Match info

When: Wednesday, July 21, 8:00p.m. MT

Where: Rio Tinto Stadium — Sandy, UT

Weather: 91 degrees, cloudy

Broadcast: KMYU, KSL TV app (streaming), ESPN+ (streaming), ESPN700 (radio)