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Considering only the MLS fixtures, Real Salt Lake have only lost once in the last five games. They held Houston Dynamo FC to a goalless draw at the beginning of May before losing against the defending champions Los Angeles FC. After that, there was another goalless draw against Portland Timbers. The club’s four-game winless run ended over a week ago with a victory against Colorado Rapids. This past weekend, Real Salt Lake were held to a fourth draw of the season against Minnesota United.
LA Galaxy’s nightmare run in the MLS continued this past weekend after the club fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat against Charlotte FC. The five-time MLS champions have lost four games and won just one in the last five games. They lost against Colorado Rapids before getting some respite with a win against the San Jose Earthquakes. They failed to build momentum and slumped to three successive defeats against Columbus Crew, DC United, and Charlotte FC. Another loss would be disastrous for the LA Galaxy.
Considering recent form and missing players, it is safe to pick Real Salt Lake for the win in this crunch encounter.
The two teams have clashed 36 times in the MLS. LA Galaxy have the better head-to-head record with 17 wins, while Real Salt Lake have snatched victory on 12 occasions. The remaining seven games have ended in draws.
Last season, Marcelo Silva’s solitary goal turned out to be the winner for Real Salt Lake when the two sides last met at the America First Field. In the reverse fixture, LA Galaxy were awarded two penalties. Ricard Puig missed the first, but Douglas Costa scored the second.
However, Costa’s penalty was an equalizer that nullified Sergio Cordova’s opening goal. LA Galaxy have not won at this venue in the last four attempts. Their last win at the America First Field came in the 2019 MLS season.
Of 17 encounters between these two clubs at this venue, Real Salt Lake have won eight matches, while LA Galaxy have won four. The remaining five matches have ended in draws. The America First Field could turn out to be an intimidating place for the visitors in the next game.
Including the MLS and US Open Cup fixtures since the second half of April, Real Salt Lake have played a total of ten games. Of these ten, the club has only lost one match, which came against a side from Los Angeles – the defending champions Los Angeles FC.
Apart from that loss, Real Salt Lake have won five and drawn four games. Progressing into the US Open Cup quarterfinals will also be a big morale booster for the hosts, and coincidentally, they will play LA Galaxy in the cup quarterfinal in the second week of June.
The focus will be on the MLS, where Real Salt Lake are unbeaten in their last three games. However, two of them have been draws, with the only win coming against Colorado Rapids – the team they also beat in the US Open Cup in the Round of 16.
The above-mentioned statistic may make Real Salt Lake look like a prolific side in front of goal, but that has not been the case, especially at home. Astonishingly, Real Salt Lake have failed to score in their last three MLS home games.
These games include the two goalless draws against Houston Dynamo FC and Portland Timbers and also include the 3-0 defeat against Los Angeles FC that was sandwiched by the two goalless draws.
Real Salt Lake will be relieved after their top scorer this season, Jefferson Savarino, got his name on the scoresheet after firing blanks in the four games before the match versus Minnesota United. The Venezuelan scored seven goals last season and has already scored four this year.
It is important for Savarino to maintain consistency up front, especially considering the fact that Real Salt Lake let go of their top scorer of last season, Sergio Cordova. The 25-year-old scored 11 goals last season but has failed to hit his stride at Vancouver Whitecaps.
The 2023 MLS season will be one to forget for the LA Galaxy, as only a miracle can turn things around for them. Sitting at the bottom of the pile, the club has only won two games in the league so far. They have lost nine and drawn the remaining three.
They have also scored the joint-fewest goals in the MLS this season after scoring only ten in 14 games. They share this record with New York Red Bulls, who have played a game more. Goal scoring is clearly an issue because the club has fired blanks in the last three MLS games.
Against Columbus Crew, LA Galaxy lost 2-0 before losing to DC United 3-0 just three days later. This past weekend, they failed to score again as Charlotte FC waltzed away with all three points with a narrow 1-0 win.
Almost a week ago, LA Galaxy fought to keep their journey alive in the US Open Cup. In the Round of 16, LA Galaxy were up against their arch-rivals Los Angeles FC. LA Galaxy won the El Trafico to advance to the next stage.
Winning a derby encounter is always a morale booster. However, the side did lose against Charlotte FC this past weekend despite winning the derby. In the MLS El Trafico, LA Galaxy lost 3-2 against the defending champions.
Goalscoring is one of the several issues plaguing the season of LA Galaxy this year in the MLS. In the initial days of the season, talisman Javier Hernandez was sidelined due to injury, and his absence made an impact up front.
After returning from injury, the striker has not hit his stride yet, as he only has one goal in nine appearances this season. To make matters worse, he received his marching orders in the previous match and will be suspended for the game against Real Salt Lake.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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