Published March 21, 2014
Sandy, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Galaxy will be looking for a measure of revenge at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday when the club meets Real Salt Lake for the second time this season.
The two sides tangled at the StubHub Center on the opening weekend of the campaign with RSL leaving California as 1-0 winners courtesy of Joao Plata's 80th-minute goal.
Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando ended up as the hero, however, as he saved a Robbie Keane penalty kick in stoppage time to preserve the victory.
After being eliminated by RSL in last season's playoffs and losing the opening match of this season, the Galaxy would clearly love to spoil Salt Lake's home opener on Saturday, and in the process turn around a few disappointing results.
Following the opening-weekend defeat to RSL, the Galaxy was eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League this past Tuesday by Mexican outfit Tijuana.
The Galaxy took a 1-0 aggregate lead to Mexico after the first leg, but after falling behind 3-0 by halftime in the second leg on Tuesday, Los Angeles lost 4-3 on aggregate.
That result was disappointing, but the Galaxy can take some positives from the way the club performed in the second half.
Mainly it was the introduction of 6-foot-5 forward Rob Friend that sparked the turnaround as the Canadian entered the match at halftime and provided more space for both Keane and Landon Donovan in the attacking third.
That effort will certainly make head coach Bruce Arena consider giving Friend increased playing time up top as the Galaxy continues to search for a winning formula.
Salt Lake has earned four points from its first two matches, but head coach Jeff Cassar saw his side kick away a two-goal lead in its last outing against the San Jose Earthquakes, which ended in a 3-3 draw.
Cassar's men took a 3-1 lead into the final 15 minutes of the contest but were unable to hold that advantage, with Victor Bernardez scoring both goals, including the equalizer in the final seconds.
All three of the Earthquakes goals came from set pieces, so we know what Cassar had his team working on in practice this week.
Salt Lake is also carrying some injury concerns into the match as Robbie Findley and Devon Sandoval are both out, while players like Javier Morales and Sebastian Velasquez are carrying injuries but could still feature.