April 28, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Real Salt Lake
SANDY, Utah - Real Salt Lake (3-4-2, 11 points, West #5) conceded a pair of early goals to fall 2-0 to the LA Galaxy (4-1-2, 14 points, West #2) at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night.
RSL FW Alvaro Saborio (L quad injury) and FW Robbie Findley (L knee soreness) were both late scratches on Saturday after sustaining injuries toward the end of training on Friday. Saborio was removed from the starting lineup and Findley was taken off of the substitutes' bench after pregame warm-ups. FW Joao Plata started for Saborio.
Despite starting a makeshift lineup, LA jumped all over RSL in the opening minutes, getting a sixth minute goal from MF Mike Magee before adding a second from FW Charlie Rugg in the 12th.
Magee scored his league-leading sixth goal of the year in the sixth minute. MF Juninho lofted a free kick into the box from the right side and Magee got on it at the back post, beating a RSL defender to the ball to head home from the top of the six-yard-box. The goal was Magee's fourth career tally against RSL.
RSL had a chance at equalizing in the ninth minute, when Plata whizzed a 25-yard effort at goal that Galaxy GK Brian Rowe - who was making his MLS debut - tipped over the crossbar with a diving save.
The Claret-and-Cobalt fell behind 2-0 just three minutes later, when rookie FW Charlie Rugg - another MLS debutant - found the back of the net. FW Jack McBean started the move, playing MF Hector Jimenez through on the right edge of the area. Jimenez hit a low cross to the back post and Rugg did the rest, running onto the ball and slotting home from five yards out.
Jimenez nearly made it 3-0 in the 15th, climbing over a RSL defender and heading a lofted cross just wide of the far post from the right corner of the six.
From that point on, it was pretty much all Real Salt Lake, with the Claret-and-Cobalt dominating possession against a Galaxy side that was content to sit back and protect its lead. RSL nearly took advantage in the 17th minute, when MF Luis Gil ran onto MF Ned Grabavoy's through ball in the left side of the area and fired a 15-yard drive just over the crossbar.
RSL had another decent look in the 31st minute, when DF Tony Beltran hit a stinger from distance that forced Rowe into a difficult leaping stop.
RSL GK Nick Rimando made a huge stop to keep the Claret-and-Cobalt in the game in the 51st minute. Jimenez played a diagonal ball from the right wing to the middle and it trickled all the way to a wide open Magee on the left side after McBean and RSL DF Nat Borchers collided and went to ground in the middle. Rimando was more than ready for Magee, coming well off his line to stuff the veteran midfielder.
Real Salt Lake had chances in the 59th and 66th minutes. MF Javier Morales had the first, collecting a Beltran pass in the right side of the area and chipping a 15-yard curler over Rowe and into the top netting. Gil set up the next opportunity, chipping a ball to FW Olmes Garcia in the box before Garcia hit a shot off of Rowe, who was off his line and all over the chance.
Garcia had a penalty shout denied in the 69th minute, with referee Edvin Jurisevic waving off the 20-year-old Colombian's protests after a LA defender appeared to illegally block him off in the box.
RSL had one of its best looks of the game in the 79th minute, when MF Kyle Beckerman headed a Morales corner kick toward the top left corner only for Magee to head it off the line.
The Claret-and-Cobalt was saved by the post in the 80th minute. Jimenez got on the ball to the right of the penalty spot, first-timing a left-footed effort past Rimando and off the near post.
RSL was unbelievably denied a consolation goal in a wild sequence in the fourth minute of stoppage time. The series saw Garcia hit the crossbar, Morales hit the post, FW Devon Sandoval stopped from point-blank range and Borchers hit a close-range effort inches wide.
The Real Salt Lake Reserves will take on the LA Galaxy Reserves in MLS Reserve League action at 11:00 a.m. MT on Sunday at America First Field in Sandy.
The Claret-and-Cobalt will return to MLS play next Saturday, May 4, when it will wrap up its three-game home stand with a match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. RSL will host "Star Wars Night at Rio Tinto Stadium" during the game; fans are encouraged to attend the match in costume for the "May the 4th" activities. Tickets are still available to the Vancouver game and can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.