LA Galaxy accuse Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio of "dirty" play, anticipate league action
The LA Galaxy lost two defenders to injury in a chippy draw at Real Salt Lake, both from contact, and one of the confrontations has them seething.
“Trying to figure out how it's not a red card,” Landon Donovan told reporters after Saturday's 1-1 tie at Rio Tinto Stadium. “You see his leg and you see the intent and how nasty it that was. I'd be very surprised if there's not further action taken.
“It's OK to be tough and physical, but you don't want to be nasty, and that was a pretty nasty one.”
DeLaGarza, who was back in his old spot at center back, was sending a ball forward. Saborío, coming late from DeLaGarza's right, angled his run to rake the defender's left ankle.
The Galaxy defender went down, received medical attention, returned to the field and departed for a good nine minutes later after the ailing ankle was aggravated in contact with Olmes García.
James Riley, playing on the right – DeLaGarza's primary position these days – also left with a knee injury after a Ned Grabavoy challenge in the 30th minute. There was no foul called, and there could have been, but the Galaxy considered it, as Donovan put it, “a little bit of a fluke play.”
Head coach Bruce Arena said the players needed to see doctors in Los Angeles before he'd know how significant the injuries were.
“DeLaGarza's probably just got a contusion from a bad tackle,” Arena said. “It was a bad tackle. I'm sure the league will be looking at that.”
DeLaGarza told the LA Galaxy Insider after the game that he hopes “it's not that bad, but right now it looks bad.”
Omar Gonzalez, DeLaGarza's partner in the middle, thinks a suspension is warranted.
“I think that was pretty dirty on his part,” Gonzalez said. “He was definitely, intentionally trying to hurt A.J., and I think he succeeded in that.”
Scott French covers the LA Galaxy for MLSsoccer.com.