SANDY, UTAH— LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano provides his Three Points to the LA Galaxy’s heated clash against Western Conference rival Real Salt Lake.
WILL DONOVAN AND KEANE PASS THEIR FITNESS TEST?
The LA Galaxy may be without two of their primary weapons on offense this weekend as both Landon Donovan (right leg strain) and Robbie Keane (left ankle injury) are facing fitness tests heading into Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake.
Both players have been limited in training this week with Donovan training exclusively in the gym while Keane participated in portions of training throughout the week. While the club is optimistic that both will be available, the Galaxy attack would be at a disadvantage without the pair, who have had plenty of success against RSL in the past.
Should Donovan and Keane be unable to go, responsibility for leading the Galaxy attack will likely fall to two teenagers Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal as well as Mike Magee. If Arena opts to keep both of them on the field, it could allow Magee to move into the right side of midfield while the Galaxy’s teen strike force attempt to pressure the RSL defense.
CONTINUE TO SPARK THE COUNTERATTACK
Against Sporting Kansas City, the LA Galaxy’s high pressure and quick counter attack overwhelmed the possession-oriented Sporting and on Saturday, a similar tactic will be key to victory at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Last Saturday, LA’s Brazilian midfield duo of Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas pestered Sporting's Pablo Nagamura and Oriol Rosell into several costly turnovers that led directly to Galaxy scoring chances. Expect LA to look for similar success on Saturday as the Brazilian duo look to suffocate RSL's midfield diamond which is led by Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales.
Remember, the Galaxy have enjoyed success with this tactic against RSL in the past as all three of their goals in LA’s victory at Rio Tinto Stadium last June came on the counter attack.
STOP RSL’S JAVIER MORALES
For the LA Galaxy to get a victory at Rio Tinto Stadium, they must shut down Real Salt Lake’s dynamic midfielder Javier Morales, who serves as the club’s midfield engine.
Known for his masterful touch and his flair for scoring a brilliant goal, Morales orchestrates the RSL attack from the tip of their midfield diamond. Morales' distribution will be key for Salt Lake as he looks to feed dangerous striker Alvaro Saborio and Colombian newcomer Olmes Garcia.
Cutting down the passing lanes will be vital against Morales, who has a tendency to drift to drift to wide positions in order to create scoring opportunities. Expect Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas to be physical with the Argentine from the outset as they look to limit his ability to kick start the RSL attack.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com