Both Los Angeles FC and Real Salt Lake are smarting from lopsided weekend losses coming into their Wednesday night clash in Sandy, Utah.
Real Salt Lake vs Los Angeles FC
- When: Wednesday, September 9
- Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: ESPN
- Live Stream: watch for free
LAFC (3-3-3, 12 points) dropped a 3-0 decision to crosstown rival Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday. Things unraveled quickly for LAFC after halftime. The club played a man down over the final 37 minutes after team captain Mark-Anthony Kaye drew a straight red card following a hard tackle of Julian Araujo.
Cristian Pavon floated in a long-distance goal in the 51st minute to put the Galaxy up 1-0. Once Kaye got ejected, LAFC could not hold the line against a relentless Galaxy offense. Sebastian Lletget got a brace, scoring in the 73rd minute and again in the 83rd minute to put the match out of reach.
With only two points separating LAFC from ninth-place FC Dallas (and RSL one point in between), staying in the playoff picture requires getting back on track in a hurry.
“So the main message for the group is that in the moment when we are facing some tough times, everybody’s got to really fight harder,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley told the team’s official website on Sunday.
The same could be said for RSL, which sits a single point ahead of Dallas.
Salt Lake (2-2-5, 11 points) extended its winless streak to three games after getting blasted 4-0 by Minnesota United FC on Sunday. RSL mounted second-half comebacks to force draws with Seattle and Portland in the club’s two previous matches. Lightning did not strike a third time, however.
Minnesota scored all four goals after the break. Robin Lod led the way with a brace and his insurance goals slammed the door on any hopes for a Salt Lake comeback.
Stagnant offense and tired legs combined to lead RSL to its first loss since MLS play continued in home markets.
“The thing is we have a good squad but it’s hard when not everyone is 90-minutes fit,” RSL coach Freddy Juarez told the team’s official website on Sunday. “So maybe I could’ve gotten fresh legs in. The guys gave what they could and did it well, especially in the first half. But that’s the thing when you go through these rotations: You have to mix and match because it’s a long haul.”