SANDY, Utah — When asked about the reliability of the LA Galaxy's injury report ahead of Saturday's match, Real Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis remained skeptical.
"This is Bruce Arena we're talking about," Kreis said of the LA boss, who's somewhat infamous for his secretive ways when it comes to reporting injuries. In this case, it means Kreis is prepping his team to face Galaxy attackers Robbie Keane (ankle) and Landon Donovan (leg), who may — or may not — suit up against RSL (9 pm ET, watch FREE on MLS Stream of the Week on MLSsoccer.com).
Keane has been a headache at times for Real Salt Lake since joining the league. Stretching back to the 2011 playoffs, when he scored the game-icing goal in the Western Conference Semifinals, to a tally in RSL's last game against the Galaxy in October of last season, the 32-year-old has caused problems.
"He is a good player, a very, very good player," Kreis told reporters following training on Friday. "He is one of those players that you have to always be mindful of where he is and try not to give him too much space to run at you. When he turns and can get a full head of steam running at you, that is when he is most dangerous. We will try to limit his space and limit his opportunities."
Of course, RSL may not need to worry about Keane at all if he is indeed too injured to feature. However, five other Galaxy players have scored this season in league play, including Mike Magee, who paces the team with five goals. If Keane is out, and if Donovan can't play either, the Claret-and-Cobalt will still have their hands full, but the defense has a good idea of how they will defend them.
"I think we look forward to this challenge playing against a great team like LA, and especially a great attacking group like Donovan and Keane," center back Nat Borchers told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. "… The most important thing for us is to be aggressive and keep the ball.
"They are a great counter-attacking team," continued Borchers. "They really open you up when you push numbers forward and they've got guys that can punish you, so we just need to be in good spots and make sure we have even numbers or up numbers against them."
"We just need to play our game," said defender Tony Beltran on Wednesday. "I think if we just focus on what we do best as a defense, play like we can, then the result will take care of itself."