CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy were watching clips of last Sunday’s tough to swallow 5-0 loss to the New England Revolution recently when the battery in computer from which the “highlights” were streaming went out, sparing the viewing audience even more misery.
“It was like the soccer gods were watching over us,” midfielder Robbie Rogers joked after training Thursday.
He and the rest of the Galaxy hope they will be watching again Saturday in Sandy, Utah where the Galaxy (6-5-2, 20 points) will take on Real Salt Lake (7-5-3, 24 points) at Rio Tinto Stadium (6:30 p.m., Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Time Warner Cable Deportes, AM 1150, 1330 AM, LIVECHAT).
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Saturday’s game will mark the second time the teams have met this season, with both games at Rio Tinto. It was on April 27 when the Galaxy, missing several first choice starters, rode impressive performances from rookie Charlie Rugg, who scored in his professional debut, and backup goalkeeper Brian Rowe, among others, in a convincing 2-0 victory.
MATCH REPORT: Galaxy shut out RSL, 2-0
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said that earlier game will have little effect on Saturday’s rematch.
“Every game is different,” he said. “One doesn’t add up to a whole lot the next time you meet. I don’t take a whole lot from the last game. But it always helps that your team’s been there already, you know the environment and you have expectations of what lies ahead.”
For starters, the Galaxy will be taking on a team that is 5-1-1 in all competitions since that 2-0 six weeks ago and coming off a 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at Rio Tinto. Jason Kreis’ squad will be without Alvario Saborio, who is with the Costa Rican national team, but they have welcomed back Robbie Findley, who appears to be fully recovered from persistent knee and groin injuries that have dogged him for much of the season. Findley had a goal and assist in the win over San Jose.
“Salt Lake had a good result last weekend,” Arena said. “We did not. It’s an important game for us to get back on a positive note.”
Arena and the Galaxy are anxious to put last Sunday’s debacle behind them, but not before making sure the memories remain fresh.
“There’s lessons to be learned, but there was a lot of good in that game,” the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan pointed out. “Juxtapose that game versus our Seattle game (a 4-0 Galaxy win), and that was never really a game. That game (Sunday) was a game the whole time until the last few minutes.
“We understand it got away at the end. The lesson there is we have to have better integrity and pride. It’s okay to lose the game 2-0 when we thought we played pretty well. When the last three goals happened in that manner, it’s sort of unacceptable.
“That’s not a characteristic of this team. That happens to other teams in this league, but that hasn’t happened to us. Even if you know you’re not going to win the game you still have to do a better job of playing the right way. I take a lot of the responsibility for that, I know Bruce has and everybody has to look at themselves and say that’s not acceptable.”