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Galaxy-Real Salt Lake Preview
The Los Angeles Galaxy have finally managed to string a couple of wins together at home. Now, they need to take that modest success on the road, which has not been kind to them of late.
The Galaxy eye a third straight victory Wednesday night against a Real Salt Lake side that's looking to win three in a row at home.
Los Angeles (15-13-3) was mired in a 1-5-2 stretch and sitting below the playoff line in the Western Conference before winning 7-2 over Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 15 and 2-1 over Montreal on Saturday - both matches at home. Those victories leave the Galaxy fourth in the crowded West, where fourth and ninth place are separated by four points, and in position to earn a first-round home game in the playoffs.
"We need to be smart right now to get points to get to the playoffs," coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto told the Galaxy's official website. "And, if we get in, to be smart in that moment. Now, we need to be focused on the Real Salt Lake game, and that's it."
The good news for Los Angeles is that it follows this match with dates against Vancouver and Houston, two teams set to miss the playoffs. However, two of the Galaxy's final three are on the road, where they've been outscored 21-8 while going 0-6-1 since winning three in a row away from home from May 24-June 22.
L.A., though, has earned at least one point in five of its last seven trips to Salt Lake and beat RSL 2-1 at home on April 28. Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who's posted four of his 27 goals in the last two games, scored the go-ahead strike in the 78th minute to help Los Angeles top Salt Lake.
RSL (14-12-5), one point and one place behind the Galaxy in the West, returns home after losing 3-1 at Minnesota on Sept. 15 and playing to a scoreless draw at New England over the weekend. Salt Lake plays two of its final three at home, where it's 11-3-1 and recorded clean sheets while beating Colorado and San Jose in its two most recent matches there.
Salt Lake was grateful to earn that road point against the Revolution, but will be looking for more from this quick turnaround at home.
"If we don't get the result we want on Wednesday, it's all for nothing," keeper Andrew Putna told Real Salt Lake's official website. "We've got three games to go, and hopefully we can get the points to get in the playoffs."
RSL's Albert Rusnak (10 goals), Jefferson Savarino (seven goals) and Damier Kreilach (five goals) combined to do all the scoring in a 6-2 home win over the Galaxy last season.
Updated September 23, 2019