LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake
Saturday, March 8th, 2014
Kick-off: 7:30 p.m
The wait is finally over. Just over four months after Real Salt Lake ended the LA Galaxy’s quest for a third consecutive MLS Cup, the two will once face off at StubHub Center. The offseason saw several changes in the Galaxy squad, but LA will look to start off 2014 on the right foot and continue being one of the teams with the best records at home.
It will be no easy start to the 2014 campaign for LA. On Saturday, the Galaxy hosts RSL and just four days later they host Tijuana in the first leg of CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. The Galaxy defense, which went from being one of the league’s best in previous years to one that was very vulnerable in set pieces, will have be put to the test early in the year. With the departure of Sean Franklin and with Todd Dunivant recovering from an injury, it looks like AJ DeLaGarza and new Galaxy player James Riley will take over those positions, respectively.
On the offensive side of things, the main focus will be on Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane. Keane underwent Achilles’ tendons surgery over the break, but has had solid performances during preseason games. Landon Donovan, on the other hand, has had an active offseason with the US Men’s National Team, and with a goal Saturday he will hold the new record for all-time MLS league goals with 135. The spotlight will also follow Gyasi Zardes, who’s had a good preseason, on his second season with the Galaxy.
The interesting offseason saw the departures of players like Sean Franklin, Hector Jimenez, Jose Villarreal, Pablo Mastroeni, Carlo Cudicini, Michael Stephens, Bryan Gaul and Greg Cochrane, among others. On the other hand, LA saw the arrivals of players like Samuel, Rob Friend, Stefan Ishizaki and Baggio Husidic, James Riley as well as the signing of Raul Mendiola and Bradford Jamieson IV as Homegrown players. Bruce Arena has expressed that he’s hoping the arrival of experienced players gives the Galaxy more consistency.
Real Salt Lake has not made many changes coming into the 2014 season. The MLS Cup runner-ups have maintained the backbone of the Western Conference-winning side, hoping for another successful season. The last time these two teams met in Carson LA defeated RSL with a great strike from Sean Franklin in the 2013 Western Conference semifinals. The LA Galaxy finished 2013 with a six-game unbeaten run at home in all competitions, only being defeated once in the last 14 games at StubHub Center.
Check out the event page here. New merch is also available on our online store; pre-order your items to be picked up on Saturday! Make sure you enter the stadium early to help out with tifo.
THIS IS LA!