Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
CARSON CITY, Calif. — Some say the third time is a charm.
That's not to say Real Salt Lake needs any luck in Saturday's match at the Los Angeles Galaxy, given the club's two favorable results already this season against L.A.
RSL opened the season with a 1-0 victory at L.A. courtesy of a Joao Plata goal, and was held to a 1-1 draw three weeks later at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“We’re pleased with the results that we’ve got so far, but if we can get another good result in L.A. and win that series that’s going to bode well at the end of the year,” RSL coach Jeff Cassar said. “It was something that the staff and I and the players talked about was making sure we won each series that we have with our Western Conference teams. If you do that you’re usually in really good shape at the end of the season.”
RSL defender Nat Borchers followed in line with what Cassar mentioned about taking the series, admitting that this is a game the club really hopes to get a result from.
“Well, if we lose to them away the series is tied and we really want to have the upper hand against them,” said Borchers. “So a result or a win is what we’re going after.”
If RSL's players hope to pick up the full three points on the road, they will need to fine tune their set-piece defending. RSL has conceded eight goals on set pieces this season, the most in MLS.
Borchers touched on the subject of set pieces, but was also keen to point out the many weapons the L.A. Galaxy can throw at a team.
“The Galaxy can beat you in many different ways,” said Borchers. “Robbie Keane is an important part of their attack, as well as Landon Donovan, and they’re two of the most dangerous guys in the league. They’re pretty good on set pieces too, so we’re going to have to watch that as well.”
RSL is currently sitting comfortably in second place in the Western Conference with 28 points, while the L.A. Galaxy are lingering quietly in sixth place with 21 points.
It's been much of the same for the Galaxy over the past few seasons. Early-season woes seem to have no effect on how the club finishes in the standings come the end of the season.
“At some point they’re going to get their points, and that’s where the games that we have against them are very important,” said Cassar. “When we can get points against them, it almost turns into a six-point game, and it creates distance between us in the standings, because you know with L.A.’s quality they’re going to catch fire at some point and make a move up the table.”
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