“[That was] 45 minutes of the best soccer I’ve seen in this stadium from this team,” coach Jason Kreis said. “It was just like a magical moment at the beginning of the game.”
Salt Lake scored two goals in the first 10 minutes and the never let up, controlling play and getting numerous opportunities to score.
“We came out exactly how we wanted to,” defender Chris Wingert said. “Our priority was to get three points, and that’s what we did tonight.”
Real Salt Lake scored on its first possession. Paulo Araujo Jr. crossed a ball that Fabian Espindola passed on and let Andy Williams fire into the bottom left corner of the net. The celebration started with 1:24 on the clock.
Paulo Jr. created an opportunity again in the 10th minute, when he challenged Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders on a
50 / 50 ball and won it. Saunders fouled Paulo, somehow avoiding a red card, but a penalty kick was awarded. Javier Morales converted for Salt Lake’s second goal.
Javier Morales made it 3-0 going into halftime with a 42nd minute one-time shot from the top corner of the box. He took possession on a Chris Wingert throw-in.
Paulo Jr. opened his MLS account in the 68th minute. Espindola got behind the Los Angeles defense and crossed a pass that Paulo finished point-blank.
Los Angeles pulled one goal back in the 79th minute. Juan Pablo Angel scored his first goal with the Galaxy, scoring on service from David Beckham on a free kick.
Real played starters, except for Alvaro Saborio, Will Johnson, and Arturo Alvarez, who were away on international duty:
- FORWARD: Espindola, Paulo Jr. (77′ Gil for Paulo Jr.)
- MIDFIELD: Williams, Beckerman, Morales, Grabavoy (69′ Warner for Williams)
- DEFENSE: Russell, Olave, Borchers, Wingert (63′ Beltran for Russell)
- KEEPER: Rimando
Luis Gil made his MLS debut when he came in for Paulo Jr. in the 77th minute.
Conor Chinn (the recently signed forward) made his first appearance in Real Salt Lake’s lineup. He was available for selection.
Russell looked injured when he left in the 63rd minute for Beltran.
Both sides had strong opportunities to score in the first half.
Salt Lake missed on a couple chances: a Jamison Olave header that bounced over the goal, a Paulo Jr. shot that was saved by Saunders, numerous corner kicks and other chances.
L.A. nearly scored on its second possession when Beckham hit the woodwork on a free kick. Olave’s redirect nearly bounced in; however, Nick Rimando was able to control the ball.
The L.A. Galaxy play a counter-attacking style of soccer, which is not effective when playing from behind. Salt Lake will attack no matter how much they are winning by, so that helped L.A. However, the side did not win a come-from-behind match all last season.
The referee did a good job and did not intervene in this match. The penalty kick call was so obvious the L.A. players did not complain during the match.
The match was sold out and the stands showed it. The stadium was packed, despite the cold weather – approximately 43 F.
Olave went down early in the second half and was tended by the team trainer. He came back and played the remainder of the match.
Man of the Match
Paulo Araujo Jr. scored, assisted, and drew the penalty kick that Morales converted. He is Real Nation’s Man of the Match.
Category: Game Review