MLS Preseason: Real Salt Lake 1, LA Galaxy 0
Real Salt Lake won its first match of the preseason on Friday, downing the defending MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy 1-0 in a scrimmage at the Home Depot Center.
The Claret-and-Cobalt made MF Ned Grabavoy’s first-half goal stand up, turning in a solid performance in every area of the field to improve its preseason record to 1-2-0.
Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis ran out his best available lineup, starting Captain Kyle Beckerman, GK Nick Rimandoand Grabavoy for the first time this preseason. The Claret-and-Cobalt started the match well, registering the game’s first chance in the 11th minute. FW Joao Plata had the opportunity, collecting a Grabavoy through ball in the right side of the box and firing a low 15-yarder wide of the far post.
Grabavoy gave RSL the lead in the 27th minute. DF Kenny Mansally played Grabavoy in on the left side of the area, allowing him to turn on goal and rip a hard left-footed shot off the crossbar and into the top-left corner.
LA turned the pressure on a bit following Grabavoy’s goal, notching its best chance of the match in the 43rd minute. FW Robbie Keane played a give-and-go with MF Rafael Garcia through the middle, slipping Garcia through the middle for a 1-v-1 with Rimando. The veteran ‘keeper came up big on the chance, diving to his right and parrying Garcia’s low shot wide of the near post.
RSL made one change at halftime, bringing trialist GK Josh Saunders in for Rimando. Both the Claret-and-Cobalt and LA made wholesale changes around the hour mark, with the Galaxy making seven moves in the 60th minute and RSL changing its entire team – excluding Saunders – in the 63rd.
Real Salt Lake had another opportunity in the 77th minute. MF Enzo Martinez created the chance, hitting a cross from the right side of the area that FW Benji Lopez headed just wide of the near post.
The Galaxy turned up the pressure in the game’s final minutes, but couldn’t net much more than a few half chances that Saunders easily dealt with.
Real Salt Lake will head back to Salt Lake City on Friday evening, remaining in Utah for the weekend before heading to Arizona on Monday, Feb. 11 for the team’s third and final leg of preseason at the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup. The team will kick off its four-game Desert Diamond Cup slate with a match against the New York Red Bulls at 7:00 p.m. MT on Wednesday.