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CARSON , CA (Sunday, June 17, 2007) - A renewed offensive attack saw Real Salt Lake (0-5-6, 6 pts.) get two goals from FW Chris Brown, but the tallies would not be enough as RSL fell by a 3-2 score to the Los Angeles Galaxy (2-4-3, 9 pts.) in an entertaining affair in front of 19,225 fans at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy would use goals from forwards Nate Jaqua and Edson Buddle in the first half to gain a pair of leads, but it was a classy finish from an "MLS Original," MF Cobi Jones, in the 65th minute that would push Los Angeles in front of Real Salt Lake into sole possession of fifth place in the Western Conference and send RSL's regular season winless streak to 15 games (0-6-9).
Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis, who was forced to watch from the press level after being ejected from Thursday night's match against FC Dallas, switched up his line-up, as Brown, MF Andy Williams, and DF Ritchie Kotschau all made their first starts of the season, while DF Danny Torres made his return from injury as part of the starting XI. But despite the new look, the start of the match was eerily similar to RSL's first visit of the season to The Home Depot Center in April against Chivas USA, a defensive miscue in the game's opening minutes leading to a goal for the home side. This time it was a giveaway Torres 40 yards from goal leading to a clean breakaway for Jaqua, who saw his shot from 20 yards deflected by a hard-charging Nick Rimando. Torres attempted to atone for his mistake by tracking back and clearing the ball off the goalline, but the ball bounced off the left post and back to Jaqua, who followed his chance with a sure shot from inside the goal box to give the Galaxy a quick lead just four minutes in.
But unlike the Chivas USA match, Real Salt Lake would strike back, and quickly, as Brown would even up the match in the sixth minute. After receiving a pass just outside the Galaxy penalty area, Brown waltzed past three Galaxy defenders and towards the penalty spot before shooting high and to the right of Los Angeles GK Joe Cannon, bringing the match to 1-1 and stopping RSL's goal-scoring drought at 298 minutes. Two minutes later RSL was nearly able to find the lead twice, but Brown had his angled shot blocked by Galaxy newcomer DF Abel Xavier, and DF Eddie Pope's open header off a corner kick was sent high from eight yards out.
Jaqua would be unlucky in the 17th minute, as his header off a free kick just to the right of the RSL penalty area was tipped over the crossbar by a leaping Rimando. The match would continue to be a wide-open affair, with both teams showing the ability to get behind the opposition, prime examples being RSL MF Chris Klein's shot from 10 yards in the 19th minute that Cannon did well to kick-save, and Jones's effort off a give-and-go that was thwarted by a daring slide tackle from behind by RSL DF Jean-Martial Kipré.
Buddle had two open chances miss without much fanfare in the first 20 minutes, but the new Galaxy attacker would finally get a goal to show for his efforts in the 25th minute. Buddle, acquired by the Galaxy from Toronto FC just this past Wednesday, beat Kotschau to a well-weighted through ball from his fellow newcomer Xavier down the right flank and raced towards goal. Rimando dove low and got a hand on the shot from the top of the area, but couldn't get enough of it, the ball rolling into the left side of the goal to Los Angeles the lead again at 2-1. The attacks would slow down for the rest of the half, RSL managing nothing on goal in the last 25 minutes, while Los Angeles would not even attempt a shot for the remainder of the half after Buddle's strike.
But Los Angeles got right back to it after the halftime whistle, the home side nearly finding their third goal off headers by Jaqua and Buddle in the 46th and 48th minutes respectively, Jaqua's open chance deflecting off an RSL defender to Rimando and Buddle's shot knocking off the crossbar. Real Salt Lake nearly helped the Galaxy out in the 64th minute when a spinning clearance inside the box from MF Chris Klein looped high towards goal his own goal, but the crossbar saved RSL from losing further ground.
The Galaxy wouldn't need any help a minute later, as Jones would give the Galaxy a 3-1 advantage. Los Angeles MF Kyle Martino did the heavy lifting on the play, as he finished a 30-yard jaunt into the left side of the area with a perfect far post cross to Jones, who finished with a five-yard shot across the face of goal that Rimando again got a hand to but couldn't stop fully.
Klein nearly got one back for RSL in the 69th minute, but his shot from the upper right corner of the area drifted high of the frame. Martino and Buddle nearly iced the match away just seconds later, but Rimando was on the spot to stop both their chances from inside the goal area and keep RSL in the match. The 72nd minute found Brown looking dangerous again for RSL as he ran onto a lofted ball over the top of the Galaxy defense, but a charging Cannon forced Brown to miss his chipped effort wide right of the target. But Brown wouldn't be denied his second of the match, as he got on the end of a corner kick from MF Freddy Adu at the far left post just a minute later, slicing the L.A. lead to 3-2.
Rimando would continue to keep RSL's hopes alive in the 83rd minute, as he knocked away Galaxy FW Gavin Glinton's blistering 12-yard breakaway shot wide of his left post for a corner. Adu would work hard to create a chance two minutes later, spinning inside the area to create space before bending a 14-yard effort directly to a waiting Cannon. Perhaps RSL's best chance of the final minutes would come in the 88th minute, when Williams chipped a ball for Brown deep in the area, but the veteran striker couldn't get on the end of the pass to try and finish off his hat trick. Despite registering 15 shots - the second most this season - and scoring multiple goals for just the third time in 2007, RSL would see one of its most complete games fall by the wayside in an attempt for its first three-point effort of the campaign.
Real Salt Lake will have a day off on Monday upon its return to Salt Lake City before beginning preparations for next Saturday's contest against D.C. United at Rice-Eccles Stadium (7:30 p.m. MT, live on Fox Soccer Channel). The squad will travel back home a little lighter, as Adu and GK Chris Seitz will leave the squad tomorrow to report to the U.S. Under-20 National Team's training camp in New Jersey, as the USA begins its final preparations for the upcoming FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Canada, which runs from June 30-July 22.
Los Angeles Galaxy 3 : 2 Real Salt Lake
Sunday, June 17, 2007
The Home Depot Center - Carson, Calif.
LA - Nate Jaqua 1 (unassisted) 4
RSL - Chris Brown 2 (unassisted) 6
LA - Edson Buddle 1 (Abel Xavier 1) 25
LA - Cobi Jones 2 (Kyle Martino 1, Kyle Veris 1) 65
RSL - Chris Brown 3 (Freddy Adu 2) 73
RSL - Mehdi Ballouchy (caution; Pushing, Holding) 13
LA - Kyle Veris (caution; Professional Foul) 40
RSL - Atiba Harris (caution; Tackle from Behind) 78
Real Salt Lake Line-up (4-4-2): GK-Nick Rimando; DF-Jean-Martial Kipré, DF-Eddie Pope (Captain) (Jack Stewart 45), DF-Danny Torres (Freddy Adu 60), DF-Ritchie Kotschau; MF-Chris Klein, MF-Atiba Harris, MF-Andy Williams, MF-Mehdi Ballouchy (Jamie Watson 80), FW-Alecko Eskandarian, FW-Chris Brown.
SHOTS: 15 (Klein 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Brown, Klein 2); SAVES: 5 (Rimando 5); FOULS: 18 (Harris 5); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Ballouchy 3); OFFSIDE: 0..
Los Angeles Galaxy Line-up (4-4-2): GK-Joe Cannon, DF-Quavas Kirk, DF-Kyle Veris, DF-Abel Xavier, DF-Ty Harden, MF-Cobi Jones, MF-Nathan Sturgis, MF-Peter Vagenas (Troy Roberts 91+), MF-Kyle Martino, FW-Edson Buddle (Robbie Findley 62), FW-Nate Jaqua (Gavin Glinton 79).
SHOTS: 15 (Buddle 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 9 (Glinton, Jaqua 2); SAVES: 3 (Cannon 3); FOULS: 17 (Jaqua 4); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Martino 5); OFFSIDES: 2 (Buddle, Martino 1)
Referee: Mark Geiger
Referee's Assistants: Thomas Supple, Emiliano Monje
Fourth Official: Brian Hal
Time of Game: 1:54
Weather: Clear and 77 degrees