Galaxy defeat Real Salt Lake in key Western Conference match, 1-0

July 13, 2014

Carson, Calif. -- After a draw against Portland in last weekend’s matchup at the Stubhub Center, the Los Angeles Galaxy had another weekend home game against a Western Conference foe in rival Real Salt Lake.  RSL knocked the Galaxy out of the 2013 playoffs and entered with the second-best record in the West.

Although the Galaxy would remain without world-class defender Omar Gonzalez, the team's backline has been doing the job in his absence.  That trend would continue against Real Salt Lake.

The game started off with both teams sharing possession, but failing to produce any offensive threats.  In the 14th minute, Landon Donovan took a corner-kick for the Galaxy and found Gyasi Zardes in the box. Zardes headed the ball, but his shot couldn’t make it on target.  RSL immediately countered down field as Joao Plata took a shot that was threatening, but ultimately flew above the goal post.

Minutes later, Robbie Keane got the ball wide and crossed it into the box, but Baggio Husidic's goal was nullified by an offside flag on a close call early in the game.

In the 20th minute, the ball was played into Donovan at the top of the box, but he chose to dummy the ball through to Zardes who beat his defender and got off a shot as he was fouled.  The shot beat the diving Nick Rimando, hit the post, and then bounced behind Rimando and hit the other post before rolling into goal for a 1-0 Galaxy lead.

“He has the skills and the talent," said Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza of Zardes.  "He can play in the midfield and up top. He is deadly, he is dangerous, and now he is scoring goals. He is coming to his own. I think right now he is pretty consistent, scoring goals, not too much you can ask for him right now."

Soon thereafter, Zardes had a chance for a second goal when Keane crossed the ball from the side right across goal, but Zardes nearly missed getting a slight deflection on the ball to tap it into the goal.

The game opened up even more in the second half with each team trying to create chances with corners, free-kicks, and crosses.  RSL had great opportunities to score as Kyle Beckerman -- recently returned from World-Cup duty with Team USA -- had a quality shot in the 83rd minute, but missed.

A few minutes later, Ned Grabavoy had the best chance for RSL in the 89th minute when he received a through ball and had only Jaime Penedo to beat, but his shot hit the side net.

As the game wound down, the teams got chippy in their play and the players got into it when Penedo was trying to put the ball back into play following an errant RSL shot.

In the final seconds, LA earned a penalty kick after Rimando fouled Marcelo Sarvas, but Rimando saved the PK.

"I think I could’ve scored, but [Nick] Rimando had a good save; he moved pretty good in the line," said Sarvas.

The Galaxy held on for a 1-0 win and earned three much-needed points in the West.  LA will now prepare for a mid-week game against New England at the Stubhub Center.

Box Score

Scoring Summary:
LA – Gyasi Zardes 20’ (Assisted by Marcelo Sarvas)

Misconduct Summary:
RSL – Olmes Garcia (caution) 90’+4
RSL – Nick Rimando (caution) 90’+7

Attendance: 19,882

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for

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