LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake | 2016 MLS West Knockout Round Preview

2016 Western Conference Knockout Round
StubHub Center | Carson, California
Wednesday, Oct. 26 
10:30 pm ET (UniMás, TSN1, TSN5, MLS LIVE, RDS2)

The Lowdown:

One of the best Western Conference rivalries will write another chapter on Wednesday with the LA Galaxy hosting Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Knockout Round of the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs. The teams, which faced off against each other in the 2009 MLS Cup final, with Real Salt Lake winning their first MLS Cup title in a penalty shootout, are aiming to find a run and surprise the Western Conference field.

But first, they must win the Knockout Round clash. LA hold the edge across all historical measures, including a 3-1-1 edge in the playoffs, and the Galaxy are the higher seed in the game. RSL, who have struggled to score following a wild 3-3 draw against LA in September, will look to have their shooting boots on for the most important game of the season.


LA Galaxy Snapshot

  • 2016 Regular Season Finish: West No. 3 seed (12-6-16 record, 52 pts / 8-1-8 home record)
  • Current Form: D-W-L-L-D
  • Strengths: Experience, star power, combined with a club with considerable recent experience winning MLS Cup (2011, 2012, 2014).
  • Weaknesses: Inconsistency, injuries, suspensions throughout the season
  • Injuries/Suspensions: Gyasi Zardes (foot) - status unknown; Steven Gerrard (hamstring) - status unknown; Robbie Keane (undisclosed injury) - status unknown
  • Player to Watch: Giovani dos Santos: Galaxy's MVP candidate will be called upon to raise his game in MLS to even greater heights
  • Probable Starting XI: Brian Rowe; Robbie Rogers, AJ DeLaGarza, Jelle Van Damme, Ashley Cole; Baggio Husidic, Jeff Larentowicz; Landon Donovan, Giovani dos Santos, Sebastian Lletget; Robbie Keane

Real Salt Lake Snapshot

  • 2016 Regular Season Finish: West No. 6 seed (12-12-10 record, 46 pts / 4-11-2 away record)
  • Current Form: L-D-L-D-L
  • Strengths: Experience through the spine of the team, combined with balanced play; At their best, entire team plays good defense and is involved in numbers in attack.
  • Weaknesses: Inability to score in final months of season; No wins since Aug. 24.
  • Injuries/Suspensions: Aaron Maund (toe) -- Out; Jeff Attinella (elbow) -- Out; Emery Welshman (hip) -- Out; Yura Movsisyan (heel) -- Probable
  • Player to Watch: Joao Plata: The diminuitive attacker has been capable of carrying RSL's attack at times. They may need that kind of effort out of him against LA.
  • Probable Starting XI: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave, Justen Glad, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland, Sunny Stephen; Juan Manuel Martinez, Yura Movsisyan, Joao Plata

Match Essentials:

Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Matthew Nelson (AR1-bench); Brian Dunn (AR2-opposite)
4th Official: Kevin Stott

LA vs. RSL Head-to-Head
All-Time (33 meetings):
LA Galaxy 13 wins, 51 goals • Real Salt Lake 12 wins, 53 goals • Ties 8
All-Time Playoff Meetings:
LA 3 wins • Real Salt Lake 1 win • Ties 1
All-Time in LA (17 meetings):
LA Galaxy 10 wins, 29 goals • Real Salt Lake 6 wins, 26 goals • Ties 1
2016 Meetings (2 meetings):
LA 5, RSL 2 (Apr. 23); RSL 3, LA 3 (Sept. 7)