In the home opener at Rio Tinto Stadium, Real Salt Lake played the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 1-1 tie in a battle of MLS Western Conference contenders. RSL started off with the lead, but allowed a magical piece of play by Robbie Keane to equalize the scoreline. RSL was unable to mount any kind of sustained attack in the second half. After dropping points last week in stoppage time, a sloppy performance and one key injury will leave a bad taste in coach Jeff Cassar‘s mouth heading into a matchup with undefeated Toronto FC.
Joao Plata found an unmarked Alvaro Saborio in the 19th minute to open the scoring. However, Keane would capitalize on a bad decision and tackle by Chris Wingert to run at Chris Schuler before finishing with authority just 15 minutes later. The game opened up in the second half with tons of space and a lot of sloppy passing in the final third. The Galaxy had the better chances, but were unable to connect for quality shots as RSL continuously gave substitute Dan Gargon all the room he wanted on the right side. Meanwhile, RSL only connected for one good chance in the last 45 minutes as Ned Grabavoy‘s effort was saved on a fine diving lunge by Brian Perk.
Plata exited the game early with a left hamstring injury. He was running at the Galaxy back line and getting behind them to create danger before leaving the game. The introduction of Olmes Garcia completely changed the attack and RSL looked disjointed. The Plata injury will surely keep him out of the lineup for a couple weeks making RSL very thin up top, as they are already dealing with injuries to Devon Sandoval and Robbie Finley.
After allowing the San Jose Earthquakes to score twice in the final 15 minutes in the previous game, RSL now sees points slip away for the second consecutive week. Through three weeks of play, they have five points, which is good enough for third place. Still the back-to-back performances do not instill confidence. Saturday’s effort may best be described as awkward. RSL has to get it together for their next match, as Toronto is a team that looks to already be gelling despite only two games played.