MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, March 8, 2014
(All times Eastern)
Real Salt Lake (0-0-0) at Los Angeles (0-0-0), 10:30 p.m.
Carson, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Real Salt Lake and the Los Angeles Galaxy
will renew their rivalry to begin the 2014 MLS season as the two sides prepare
to meet at the StubHub Center on Saturday.
The two clubs have developed an enmity in recent years as they have met in the
playoffs three of the last five seasons.
Real Salt Lake edged L.A. on penalties in the 2009 MLS Cup, but the Galaxy
returned the favor a 3-1 victory over RSL in the 2011 Western Conference
final, which propelled the club to the title with a win over the Houston
Los Angeles won the a second straight MLS Cup title in 2012, but Real Salt
Lake ousted the Galaxy from the postseason last year before falling to
Sporting Kansas City in the title match.
The Galaxy certainly appear primed for more postseason soccer. The core of the
team remains mostly intact with head coach Bruce Arena expecting to get a full
season out of Landon Donovan, while leading scorer Robbie Keane is also back
for another campaign after recording 16 goals and 11 assists.
One of the top defenders in MLS, Omar Gonzalez, will anchor the back line,
with midfield stalwarts Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas providing a steady
Salt Lake, though, has a few more questions to answer. While the Claret and
Cobalt also managed some continuity with their roster, the club underwent a
massive change at the head coaching spot.
Jason Kreis bolted from Real Salt Lake just three days after its MLS Cup
defeat to Sporting, making his way to New York City FC. Jeff Cassar, who
served as an assistant coach to Kreis, was promoted to head coach.
So while Salt Lake has been able to retain the majority of a team that
finished just one point out of first place in the West last term, Cassar still
has some massive shoes to fill. After all, he is replacing a head coach that
led his team to the postseason in each of his six full seasons with the club.
03/07 15:32:12 ET