MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, May 3, 2008
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles (2-2-1) at Real Salt Lake (1-3-1), 9 p.m.
Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Los Angeles used a four-game homestand
to climb to second in Major League Soccer's Western Conference. But the Galaxy
need to prove they can win on the road or they won't be a serious contender.
L.A. was just 3-8-4 on the road last season and lost its only road game so far
to the Colorado Rapids, 4-0. The Galaxy leave Southern California to play Real
Salt Lake on Saturday.
Real Salt Lake has been outscored 8-2 in three road losses, but is unbeaten in
two home matches. Rice-Eccles Stadium's artificial turf is just one key reason
for the Utah club's home-field advantage.
"It's a different game when you play on grass," Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick
Rimando said after last week's 4-0 loss at D.C. United.
Galaxy striker Landon Donovan has scored eight goals in his last four games on
the plush grass at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
He has three straight games with at least two goals. Last week, Donovan scored
three goals and had one assist in a 5-2 win over Chivas USA. He was named MLS
Player of the Week after his last two games and also won player of the month.
With David Beckham contributing four assists - three for Donovan - L.A. has 11
goals to lead the league.
Los Angeles has also allowed 11 goals.
But L.A. coach Ruud Gullit was more impressed with defender Sean Franklin last
week than Donovan or Beckham.
"I think Sean Franklin (was) the best player (on the field)," Gullit said.
Defender Abel Xavier was benched after getting a red card in the season opener
but returned to the starting lineup last week. The former Portuguese national
team player and European veteran could solidify the defense.
Real Salt Lake defeated D.C. United 4-0 on April 12 but has scored once in its
last two MLS games.
"We've lost our way a little bit about how many scoring chances we're going to
create in games," Kreis said.
RSL broke out again Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup with a 4-0 victory over the
San Jose Earthquakes. Midfielder Kyle Beckerman has two goals in each of RSL's
Real coach Jason Kreis wants the team to continue that scoring approach in MLS
matches. Real plays eight of its next 12 matches at home and could take a huge
step toward its first playoff berth with a successful run.
05/02 13:28:14 ET