CARSON, Calif. - A few notes from the LA Galaxy's 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake.
*Real Salt Lake is now five points ahead of the Galaxy for the Western Conference's second spot. If the regular season today, the Galaxy would face off against RSL in the Western Conference semifinal.
*The defeat to RSL is the first time that an away team has defeated the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center more than once since the club moved into The HDC in 2003.
*In all three matches between RSL and the Galaxy, the home team was defeated and in all three times, the team to score first has lost.
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane scored an fantastic goal in the 17th minute, but it meant little in the grand scheme (the goal is below) as LA fell 2-1 to Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.
The Irish forward--who will now depart for international duty--opened the scoring inside of 20 minutes in the midst of an impressive LA push towards goal, when he received a pass from Juninho that he struck with a beautiful left-footed volley, beating RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando for the opening strike. However, after the goal, disaster struck as LA went down in the span of three minutes when Fabian Espindola scored in the 25th and 28th minute to put RSL ahead for good.
Following the match, Keane was quick to reflect on LA's inability to capitalize on early chances.
KEANE: “I don't know, I don't really care, when you lose a game, it's not really that important, to be honest with you, I’m disappointed with the result like everybody else. It was a game, I think, the first 20 minutes when we got the goal we were controlling the game and then we gave two goals away in the space of two minutes probably. So, I think that killed us.”
(On what the Salt Lake defense was doing that made it tough for LA to score...)
KEANE: “Nothing, really. Because if you looked at the first 20 minutes we about (had) four or five chances, but after that, as soon as you concede two goals, they sit back and invite pressure on and put two banks of four (players) and obviously made it difficult.”
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan suffered an apparent left knee injury in Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake.
Donovan picked up the injury in the 81st minute of play when he seemingly collided with RSL defender Jamison Olave on the left side of the penalty area. The knock kept Donovan down for several minutes, but the Galaxy captain was ultimately able to walk away under his own power before being subbed in the 85th minute for Jose Villarreal. Donovan told reporters after the match that the collision "didn't feel good" and he will be tested "as soon as possible."
There is some solace for Galaxy and U.S. national team fans, however, as Donovan revealed that he did not hear a pop in the midst of the collision.
As for Donovan's status for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers with the U.S. national team, Donovan said his status is "TBD" or to be determined.
Below are Donovan's thoughts on the match.
DONOVAN: "We're a little disappointed in the game. I'm not worried about [the international break] right now. We had a pretty good first half and then we fell asleep for a few minutes as Espindola made two good plays. It was frustrating, I thought we had some really good chances, they were scrambling a bit and making some last ditched blocks to dodge the bullet, but give them credit, they scored the goals that they needed to."
(On LA playing worse after scoring the first goal...)
DONOVAN: "I thought we played really well in the first half, but in the second half they did a better job of containing us as we didn't have as many chances. We got to do better-- myself included -- to score some of those and make it two or three to zero so that the game is over and we weren't able to do that."
(On whether RSL is better at blocking shots...)
DONOVAN: "It's the way that the game goes sometimes. It's not necessarily a skill or an art form. It's just that you put yourself there and the ball hits you. Tonight the ball hit them."
(On avoiding the Knock Out Round game...)
DONOVAN: "That's the goal, but that goal just got a lot more difficult. We're probably going to have to win both games and then see what happens. These were always going to be hard games. This was a disappointing one because we're playing a team that was within reach so then now they built a little bit of a gap, but we've known all along that this is going to be a battle at the end. Ideally, we don't play in the [Knock Out Round game] but if that's what happens then we're a team that can overcome."
(On whether it matters more to finish in second place rather than third...)
DONOVAN: "No, I don't think that we're too worry about that part. The goal is to be at least third and if you're fourth obviously, there is a disadvantage in playing the extra game, but we're a deep and if we have to do that then we have to do it."
Ahead of Saturday's match against Real Salt Lake, I've provided my Three Points to the match.
Let me know if you agree or disagree with my points in the comments section below.
The folks at LAGalaxy.com provided a video preview of tonight's match, complete with thoughts from Robbie Keane, Todd Dunivant and Landon Donovan
David Beckham is officially off the LA Galaxy's injury report.
Beckham was listed as questionable earlier in the week with a left ankle sprain, but the midfielder was removed on Friday's updated Injury Report. The 37-year-old English midfielder went 87 minutes in last week's 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids in his first match in a month.
Following training on Friday, Beckham told reporters that he is ready to participate in Saturday's match against Real Salt Lake...
“The ankle didn’t feel perfect [after the Colorado match] but it felt a lot better than what it had done,” said Beckham. “I’ve done a lot of strengthening work this week and while it’s not 100 percent, it’s close. It’s 98.”
The complete Injury Report is below:
OUT: DF A.J. DeLaGarza (L knee sprain); DF Leonardo (R knee inflammation); MF Kyle Nakazawa (back spasms); QUESTIONABLE: MF Christian Wilhelmsson (L calf strain)
CARSON, Calif. – The last time that the LA Galaxy took on Real Salt Lake on June 20 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, the two teams were on the opposite end of the Western Conference spectrum.
The LA Galaxy were a dismal 4-8-2, sitting near the bottom of the Western Conference while Real Salt Lake 10-3-2 perched atop the West ahead of the then-second place San Jose Earthquakes.
The match started poorly enough for LA as the game was delayed for 15 minutes because the Galaxy team bus was stuck in Salt Lake City gridlock, but it would get worse once the opening whistle was sounded. Within 25 minutes, goals from Kyle Beckerman and Alvaro Saborío saw RSL take a 2-0 lead on the Galaxy.
Although things had taken a turn for the worse, LA would pull one back in the 29th minute on a brilliant individual effort from Landon Donovan, who capitalized on a Salt Lake defensive gaff. Following his goal, Donovan shouted at his teammates seemingly signaling that the time for a comeback was now. They immediately responded. LA would tally two more goals in the second half from Mike Magee and Donovan as LA roared back to earn a valuable three points at the RioT.
Now heading into the MLS Regular Season’s final week, the Real Salt Lake sit two points ahead of the Galaxy in the chase for second place in the West. As the Galaxy reflect on their season ahead of Saturday’s match against RSL at The Home Depot Center, there is no doubt that June’s clash was a turning point for the Galaxy.
BECKHAM: “I think it brought us together. Going there is always a difficult place to go so going there and being 2-0 down and winning the game 3-2 was a big thing for us.”
DONOVAN: “I think that it gave us come belief to go down there and get a result after being down 2-0. It’s a big feat and what really helps is that if we play them in the playoffs, we have the belief that we can go down there and do it again so that’s good.”
CARSON, Calif. – Since 2009, two teams have reigned supreme in the Western Conference—the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
Having appeared won two of the last three MLS Cups and two of the last three Supporters’ Shield trophies, matches between the two clubs have emerged as one of the top competitive rivalries in MLS. For the LA Galaxy, matches against RSL are always contentious, physical clashes that have a flair for the dramatic. Just how dramatic have LA and Salt Lake matches been? In the seven matches the 2009 MLS Cup—a match RSL won in penalties—four have been decided by one goal as the Galaxy have amassed four wins and three defeats in all competitions.
investigate this rivalry, I asked Galaxy fans, players (David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle and Todd Dunivant) and head coach Bruce Arena about the view of RSL as LA’s main competitive rival.
BECKHAM: "I consider them to be a good team. I think that we've got quite a few rivals because we won the championship last year and people want to come here [to The Home Depot Center] and beat us. I do consider most teams our rivals, but Salt Lake are a good team, I think they play the game well and they have done that for a number of years. They've had quite a lot of success over the last few years so I think that they're a very good team."
DONOVAN: "I don't know, Seattle are a tough team, San Jose through the years. Salt Lake and us for the last four or five years have been two of the best teams in the league so it makes for good games all the time and I'm sure that this one will be the same."
BUDDLE: "I would consider them a rival especially because of the Final. We look forward to playing these games. I thought about the [2009 MLS Cup Final] a lot in the  offseason [before Buddle scored 17 goals en route to an appearance on the U.S. national team's squad for the 2010 World Cup ] I didn't want that [penalty miss that set up Robbie Russell's Cup winning penalty] to be the last memory of me in a Galaxy uniform. I've let that go now, but I'm still shooting for that championship so whomever is in my way has to get taken down."
DUNIVANT: “You can date it back to ’09, we didn't have anything going into that even or even through that season, but obviously the Cup final kind of changed that. They made it through the Eastern side of the bracket and then beat us in penalties so that’s the start of the rivalry right there. But it’s really been two of the better teams over the last four years, when you have that, you have a lot of meaningful games, a lot of things that matter and battling each other for the Supporters’ Shield for the last couple of years and they're two of the better teams so of course, it’s a rivalry.”
ARENA: "I think that every team in your conference is a rival. I think that any is much different. Obviously, the one that brings a lot of attention is the geographic [rivalry] because of Chivas here, but everything else in the conference is pretty much the same. They're all pretty competitive rivals."
@lagalaxyinsider For competitive reasons they are the only team I care about beating. Seattle next cause their fans bother me so much.
— Chris Tucker (@ZeroCool138) October 4, 2012
@lagalaxyinsider Definitely true - they have had some of the best games over the last 3 years - hard fought, wins at each other's home, etc
— Michael (@SaltyGunner) October 4, 2012
— Denzel Eslinger (@f4denz) October 5, 2012
Three members of the LA Galaxy will be away on International duties over the next two weeks as Christian Wilhelmsson (Sweden), Robbie Keane (Ireland) and Dan Keat (New Zealand) have been called up by their respective nations for World Cup qualifiers, the club announced on Friday.
All three players will leave on Sunday and return to Southern California around October 17, ahead of LA's penultimate league match of the year against San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium on October 21.
Wilhelmsson rejoins the Swedish national team after missing the last International period to finalize his deal with the Galaxy. "Chippen" and Sweden continue World Cup qualifying in UEFA Group C with matches against Faroe Islands in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands on October 12 and against Germany at Olympic Stadium in Berlin on Oct. 16. Meanwhile, also in group C, Robbie Keane's Ireland will face off against Germany in Dublin, Ireland on Oct. 12 before taking on the Faroe Islands in Tórshavn. Across the globe, Keat and New Zealand face a pair of World Cup qualifiers against Tahiti, the first on Oct. 12 in Papeete, Tahiti and the second taking place on Oct. 12 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The Galaxy may be joined by Galaxy captain Landon Donovan, who may be called up by the United States for their own World Cup qualifiers against Antigua and Barbuda on the Caribbean island on Oct. 12 and Guatemala at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kans. on Oct. 16. The USMNT will announce their roster on Monday at 12pm PDT.
Galaxy commentators Mark Rogondino and Cobi Jones preview Saturday's game against Real Salt Lake...