Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT – Real Salt Lake moves one step closer to a 2015 playoff birth as they put in 90 minutes of amazing soccer to defeat the defending MLS champion LA Galaxy. A record crowd of 21,004 showed up to watch the Claret and Cobalt put on a clinic tonight, this bests the previous record of 20,956 set on July 4th when Orlando visited Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL started things off quickly tonight when in the 3rd minute when Javier Morales played the ball to Aaron Maund who headed it toward the post and a waiting Devon Sandoval who was able to get it past the now out of position Donovan Ricketts. The quickness of the play not only caught Ricketts out of position, but was the start of a very bad night for Omar Gonzalez who just couldn’t keep up with speed of the RSL attack.
Javier Morales continued to be at the center of RSL scoring when he put his name in the score sheet in the 28th minute after Juninho fouled Juan Manuel Martinez in the box and referee Kevin Stott pointed to the spot. Morales was able to get Ricketts to hold firm and fired to the left to put RSL up 2-0.
The Galaxy were able to put together several great shots at goal, but Nick Rimando who have none of that, as he lived up to his nickname the “Wall of the Wasatch” and kept LA scoreless through the entire 90 minutes.
The match was put out of the reach of LA in the 54th minute as Martinez showed what a great addition he is to RSL when he fought to keep the ball long enough to put the ball perfectly in front of Sandoval who headed the ball past Ricketts to give Big Dev his second goal on the night.
Real may have had their best match of the year when they could not have needed it more. The presence that Martinez brings to the club, along with the steady head of Morales have produced to wins in a row, as they fight to keep any hopes of a playoff run alive.
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 2 0 2
LA Galaxy 0 0 0
RSL– Devon Sandoval – 3′
RSL– Javier Morales – 28′
RSL – Devon Sandoval – 53′
RSL– Javier Morales – 15′
Lineups: Real Salt Lake (9-11-8): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran; Jamison Olave Aaron Maund; Kyle Beckerman (C); Jordan Allen; Javier Morales (John Stertzer, 90+2′); Luke Mulholland; Joao Plata; Juan Manuel Martinez; Devon Sandoval (Sebastian Jaime, 88′)
Substitutes Not Used: Jeff Attinella; Olmes Garcia; Abdoulie Mansally; Wellington Paeckart; Elias Vasquez
Los Angeles Galaxy (13-8-8): Donovan Ricketts; Omar Gonzalez; Robbie Rogers (Alan Gordon, 67′); A.J. DeLaGarza; Leonardo; Steven Gerrard; Giovani dos Santos (Edson Buddle 77′); Sebastian Lletget (Baggio Husidic, 67); Juninho; Robbie Keane (C); Gyasi Zardes
Substitutes Not Used: Brian Rowe; Dan Gargan; David Romney; Mika Vayrynen
Next up for RSL
Real Salt Lake returns to CONCACAF action on Thursday, September 24th when Santa Tecla comes to Rio Tinto Stadium, a win secures RSL the top of Group G play.