Three Points: LA Galaxy battle for second place with RSL
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano gives his Three Points to Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake…
WHO STEPS IN FOR THE INJURED DELAGARZA
The LA Galaxy will be without the services of steady centerback A.J. DeLaGarza due to a left knee sprain suffered in last Sunday’s 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids.
The injury is expected to keep DeLaGarza on the sidelines for at least a month and prevent him from participating in LA’s crucial four game October stretch that will determine seeding in the MLS Cup Playoffs and CONCACAF Champions League. DeLaGarza’s absence may be a tough for LA, but head coach Bruce Arena has a number of interesting options to slide into the back four.
Rookie Tommy Meyer appears to be the most likely to slide into DeLaGarza’s spot alongside Omar Gonzalez. Meyer was impressive in 56 minutes of action against Colorado and has been described by many in the Galaxy organization as one of the team’s most improved player this season. But with RSL’s attack among the best in MLS, Meyer is in for a serious test on Saturday.
SHUT DOWN SABORIO AND ESPINDOLA
The Real Salt Lake attack contains a number of talented attacking weapons, spearheaded by the duo of Alvaro Saborío and Fabian Espíndola.
With Saborío’s physicality and Espíndola’s elusive speed, the pair creates a number of problems for opposition defenses. During RSL’s 4-0 demolition of Chivas USA last week, Saborío tallied three goals against the Rojiblancos while Espíndola added three assists.
In order to shut down Salt Lake’s attacking duo, expect LA’s center backs to attempt to match RSL’s physicality and apply pressure to limit scoring chances for Saborío and Espíndola.
AVOID SLOPPY MOMENTS
The LA Galaxy may be on a 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions, but the club has a number of issues to work out heading into the MLS Cup Playoffs.
During LA’s 1-1 draw against the Rapids last Sunday, David Beckham commented that the Galaxy were “sloppy” and lacked “experience” at times. While LA was able to leave the Rocky Mountains with a point last week, they’ll need to be show more focus against a Salt Lake attack that boasts experienced players like Javier Morales and Kyle Beckerman, who will be eager to overpower the LA midfield.
To counteract this, focus will be vital for 90 minutes as LA has displayed a tendency to concede late goals or concede immediately after their own goals. If the Galaxy can prevent these miscues then expect the LA to get three points against RSL.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com