The Los Angeles Galaxy saw their road struggles continue on Wednesday night, conceding a second-half equalizer to Real Salt Lake -- who had gone nearly 10 hours, an MLS record, without scoring a goal -- in a 1-1 draw at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
The Galaxy had started their current four-game road trip with a pair of losses, while Real hadn't won -- or scored -- in five games. Naldo da Conceicao gave them a first-half lead, but Jamie Watson snapped the long scoreless run in the second half for the eventual leveling goal.
Playing with a relatively young lineup, the Galaxy were also looking to avenge an embarrassing 2-1 loss to Real the last time they played in Utah.
The Green-and-Gold put pressure on early as Herculez Gomez, in his second consecutive start, just put a chance wide. He made a solid connection with his head on a free kick in the 10th minute, but put it just on the wrong side of the post.
The visitors got on the scoreboard seven minutes later. Naldo da Conceicao flashed through the RSL defense, connecting onto a long ball out of the back from Peter Vagenas. With plenty of time, Naldo pounded his shot straight though the legs of D.J. Countess for his first MLS goal.
The Galaxy took their lead into halftime as they looked the better team in the half. Along the way -- in the 35th minute -- Real's scoreless streak passed 537 minutes, setting a league record for the longest period of time without a goal, passing D.C. United's mark.
But the goalless streak ended for RSL in the 56th minute as Watson hit home in his first pro start. After some nice passing Andy Williams found Watson on the back post, and the rookie raced towards goal and slipped his shot underneath the oncoming Kevin Hartman.
The goal gave RSL offensive confidence and the home side created several chances in the minutes following the goal. Hartman did well to save a free kick taken from Williams from about 25 yards out.
Cobi Jones came off the bench early in the second half, replacing Gomez, and he made an immediate impact. He raced down the right sideline, beating the RSL backline and from nearly an impossible angle unleashed a low blast that Countess was able to deflect out of danger.
The Galaxy continued to create dangerous chances throughout. Todd Dunivant played a beautiful pass across the front the the RSL net only to have Naldo trip over the ball, sending it wide.
But the chances came at the other end too. Second-half RSL substitute Leslie Fitzpatrick tried Hartman from long range in the 88th minute, rocketing a blast from the corner of the box that Hartman easily punched out for an RSL corner. On the ensuing corner Jason Kreis got his head on it, but his shot went straight to the hands of Hartman.
In stoppage time RSL came close to getting the win. Jordan Cila danced his way through the Galaxy defense and had Williams wide open in front of the net. But Cila couldn't stop dancing and worked his way out of any dangerous scoring opportunity, leaving the teams to share the points.
MLSnet.com Man of the Match: Andy Williams (Real Salt Lake)
Scott McAllister is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.
Los Angeles Galaxy (7-4-3) vs. Real Salt Lake (3-8-3)
June 22, 2005 -- Rice-Eccles Stadium
LA -- Ednaldo da Conceicao 1 (Peter Vagenas 2) 17
RSL -- Jamie Watson 1 (Andy Williams 1, Jason Kreis 1) 56
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Kevin Hartman, Ugo Ihemelu, Pablo Chinchilla, Michael Umana, Todd Dunivant, Mubarike Chisoni (Paulo Nagamura 51), Peter Vagenas, Herculez Gomez (Cobi Jones 54), Landon Donovan, Ednaldo da Conceicao, Jovan Kirovski.
Substitutes Not Used: Steve Cronin, Michael Enfield, Troy Roberts.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Herculez Gomez 2, Cobi Jones 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Ednaldo da Conceicao 1, Cobi Jones 1); FOULS: 13 (3 tied with 2); OFFSIDES: 5 (Ednaldo da Conceicao 4); CORNER KICKS: 2 (Jovan Kirovski 2); SAVES: 4 (Kevin Hartman 4)
Real Salt Lake -- D.J. Countess, Nelson Akwari, Cameron Knowles, Eddie Pope, Brian Kamler, Seth Trembly (Leslie Fitzpatrick 79), Kenny Cutler, Andy Williams, Chris Brown (Jordan Cila 73), Jamie Watson, Jason Kreis.
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Behncke, Nikolas Besagno, Luke Kreamalmeyer, Jay Nolly, Leighton O'Brien, Dipsy Selolwane, Dante Washington.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Andy Williams 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Andy Williams 2); FOULS: 16 (Jamie Watson 3, Andy Williams 3); OFFSIDES: 6 (Jamie Watson 4); CORNER KICKS: 7 (Andy Williams 4); SAVES: 1 (D.J. Countess 1)
LA -- Ednaldo da Conceicao (caution; Dissent) 7
RSL -- Andy Williams (caution; Persistent Infringement) 23
LA -- Ugo Ihemelu (caution; Reckless Foul) 58
Referee: Lee Suckel
Referee's Assistants: Emiliano Monje; David Bragg
4th Official: Ricardo Valenzuela
Time of Game: 1:49
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.