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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 four-goal matches.

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