Sandy, UT – It may have taken nearly two months, but the Los Angeles Galaxy finally brought an end to its seven-game unbeaten streak on Sunday with a 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers.
The match itself may not have been pretty, but it was the result that matters, and the Galaxy will now hope it can propel the team forward as the club tries to work its way back up the Western Conference table.
But a quick turnaround awaits the Galaxy on Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium as West-leading Real Salt Lake is prepared to welcome Bruce Arena's team.
The Galaxy fell to the bottom of the Western Conference after losing five of its last six games, but Todd Dunivant's second-half goal helped the club pick up three points on Sunday, and Landon Donovan believes it is something to build on.
"We got back to doing things that made a difference," Donovan said. "It wasn't pretty, but we made a lot of real good plays on both side of the ball that made a difference. I can't look at any one guy and say that he didn't perform well and he didn't give everything he had. It's a good building block. Let's not get carried away - it's one win, but it's a good win. Everyone feels good about it. To get a shutout against a real good offensive team is a real plus."
The Galaxy rode a staunch defense last season to the MLS Cup title, and David Beckham had the feeling on Sunday that the performance felt familiar.
"We just have to build on it, it's as simple as that," Beckham said of the 1-0 win. "Last season we played a lot of games like this where we won 1-0 and we kept the other team shutout. We need more performances like this and we're capable of it. Hopefully this will be our springboard."
If the Galaxy is to build on Sunday's win, it will have to do against an in- form Real Salt Lake side that is coming off of a dominant 3-0 victory over Chivas USA.
Salt Lake is unbeaten in its last seven games and has won five of six, with head coach Jason Kreis believing Saturday's win may have been the most complete performance from his side this season.
"I'm really, really pleased," Kreis said following the win over Chivas. "I thought the guys played probably the best match we've played this year. From start to finish for me, I thought it was the most complete match. I thought they just did an excellent job on both sides of the ball. I'm really pleased that the guys showed they're happy to be back together and chomping at the bit for another difficult segment of our season."
After scoring just once in his previous six games, forward Fabian Espindola scored a pair of goals in the 3-0 win, while the RSL defense kept its third clean sheet in four games.
The win was a good one for RSL, but midfielder Kyle Beckerman knows his team can't dwell on it for too long, considering the fact that RSL will be playing three times in the span of seven days.
"It's a great start to a three-game week but it's a quick turnaround," Beckerman said of his team's busy week. "We have to put this in the past quickly and get ready for Wednesday."