For veteran Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman, Wednesday night's matchup against Los Angeles Football Club at Banc of California Stadium (10 pm ET | ESPN2 - full TV & streaming info) is all about respect — namely, for his team to earn some back after LAFC torched them 5-1 back in March at Rio Tinto Stadium.
"We'd like to definitely show better," Beckerman said this week. "It was kind of a wake-up call for us early in the season. Definitely, we want to get some respect back."
Beckerman also put the game in some context.
"For the most part, it's just a Western Conference game, against a team that's above us by just a couple of points," Beckerman said. "Everything's there for us to try to get some points and see if we can catch them."
The loss, though lopsided, remains the lone blemish on RSL's 2018 record in Sandy; in 13 contests there this year, they've won nine and drawn three. Their home record has largely kept them in playoff contention; they currently sit sixth in the Western Conference table on 35 points. Road results have been at a premium for RSL — they've only won one and drawn twice in 11 away matches this season.
LAFC has hit a hiccup in their season, drawing two and losing three in their last five matches. But they still, as Beckerman noted, sit above RSL in the table — specifically, in 5th place on 36 points. And given that LAFC's gotten results in 10 of their 11 home matches this year, this could be an opportunity — albeit against a tricky opponent — to create a bit of separation in a Western Conference where only seven points divide 2nd place from 8th.