Galaxy Host Real Salt Lake

The two worst teams in Major League Soccer will collide on Saturday night in southern California when the Los Angeles Galaxy host Real Salt Lake, with just a point separating the clubs at the bottom of the league standings.

Salt Lake is coming off a rare win in midweek after defeating the Kansas City Wizards on the strength of goals from new Argentinean signings Matias Mantilla and Fabian Espindola. After Eddie Johnson pulled one back for K.C. in the second half, RSL’s Andy Williams added a cracking goal from midfield, catching Kevin Hartman napping off his line near the end of the game to cement the result, a 3-1 victory for RSL.

The last league game for the Galaxy saw Frank Yallop’s club suffer a second-straight 3-0 defeat, this time at the hands of the Colorado Rapids. Los Angeles was without several key players for that game and gave up all three goals in a 17-minute span late in the first half. On Wednesday night, the Galaxy fell to Pachuca in the SuperLiga final, taking the game to penalties before being knocked out.

Saturday’s match features the return of Nathan Sturgis and Robbie Findley to the Home Depot Center, traded in late June from the Galaxy to RSL in exchange for Chris Klein. While Sturgis has missed time recently, nursing a calf strain, Findley has found success in Utah, scoring three times since the trade, including both goals in his debut with the club, a 2-1 victory over D.C. United.

The Galaxy’s injury woes just keep coming, with David Beckham ruled out for at least six weeks after spraining his right MCL on Wednesday. Three-quarters of what should be the starting backline for Los Angeles are also out with injuries (Chris Albright, Ty Harden, Ante Jazic), leaving Joe Cannon exposed to a rejuvenated RSL offense. Eight other players are listed on the injury report with less severe knocks.

If Los Angeles hopes to climb out of last place this weekend and mount any sort of run to the playoffs, they will need a victory against RSL. With eight games in September and four more scheduled for October, there are points out there to be had, but it’s hard to believe a depleted Galaxy squad has any gas left in the tank after such a trying season.


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