Three Points: LA Galaxy look to rebound against feisty Real Salt Lake

Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano offers his Three Points to LA’s match against Real Salt Lake

CARSON, Calif.—LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano gives his Three Points as LA seek to return to their winning ways on the road against Real Salt Lake…

SHAKE IT OFF

The LA Galaxy are coming off a crushing a 5-0 defeat to the New England Revolution last week, but they’ll have a chance to right the ship this weekend when they take on Real Salt Lake.

LA have gone back to the basics this week with a few intense training sessions as they work out the issues that plagued them against New England. The primary issue that has been cited this week by the players and coaches has been their inability to score the first goal despite numerous opportunities early against the Revs. With that loss in the back of their minds, expect the Galaxy to attack from the opening whistle as the club is an unbeaten 6-0-2 when scoring first in league play, but a winless 0-5-0 when conceding the first goal.

The Galaxy aren’t the only team with something to prove, however, as RSL will be eager to shake off their disappointing 2-0 defeat to LA on April 27.  RSL are 5-1-1 in all competitions since the defeat and they’ll be eager to erase the memory of that loss this weekend.

MORALES VS. SARVAS

The match between the two Western Conference rivals will likely turn on the battle in midfield between RSL’s dynamic Javier Morales and the Galaxy’s tenacious Marcelo Sarvas.

Since the last meeting between the two teams, Morales has been on a tear with two goals and two assists in six games while leading an RSL attack that has scored an impressive 14 goals in that span. Morales may be adept at creating chances, but Sarvas has been stellar this season in causing havoc for opposing playmakers with his physical play. The Brazilian midfielder has made a total of 111 recoveries this season, which places him in the top five league wide among midfielders.

Look for Sarvas—and his midfield partner Juninho—to challenge Morales physically, limiting the Argentinian’s time on the ball, while also leading the Galaxy’s efforts to recover possession and then create chances on the counterattack.

GALAXY DEFENDERS LOOK TO BLANKET QUICK RSL ATTACK

Just as was the case when the two sides met in April, Real Salt Lake will not have the services of star forward Alvaro Saborio, but that likely won’t be an issue for RSL on Saturday. Despite having his leading scorer away on international duty with Costa Rica, Jason Kreis  will be confident that the forward tandem of Joao Plata and Robbie Findley can create problems for LA’s expected center back pairing of A.J. DeLaGarza and Tommy Meyer.

The RSL pair have started the last two matches together and enjoyed a world of success in their 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes last week. Findley notched a goal and an assist against the Quakes, while Plata was particularly effective off the ball as his movement opened big holes in the San Jose defense for Findley and others to exploit. Come Saturday, DeLaGarza and Meyer will be well aware of the attacking duo’s strengths and tendencies.

DeLaGarza’s speed has always aided his ability to contain attackers like Findley and Plata, but it will be a challenge for Meyer, who had his difficulties during LA’s defeat to New England. However, where Meyer could be successful is in his positioning as he looks to limit spaces for the fleet-footed attackers to exploit.

Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com