A few months after the Galaxy knocked RSL out of the playoffs, the Utah club extracted a smidgen of revenge with an opening day regular season win.
CARSON, Calif. - Don’t hand the Galaxy the 2012 MLS Cup yet. Real Salt Lake came into the Home Depot Center Saturday night and reminded everyone why it hoisted the trophy in 2009 with an emphatic 3-1 victory over the defending MLS Champion.
Few would have expected that scoreline when Edson Buddle opened the scoring in the 71st minute after a laser-guided David Beckham free kick found the American forward in between three RSL defenders. Buddle nodded past goalkeeper Nick Rimando for a 1-0 lead after the Galaxy had enjoyed a majority of the quality chances.
But it was all downhill for the defending champ after that. Sean Franklin mishit a clearance from a Sebastian Velasquez cross three minutes later for an own goal on a night he’d rather forget. In the 80th minute, RSL went ahead when Javier Morales pounced on a failed Michael Stephens clearance in the Galaxy penalty box off a Ned Grabavoy cross. Fabian Espindola took a flick-on from Alvaro Saborio, blew by the defender and slotted a low shot past a helpless Josh Saunders to complete the surprising 3-1 scoreline..
Many have tapped the 2012 version of the Galaxy as perhaps the most talented team n MLS after the club retained David Beckham and brought back 2010 Golden Boot winner Edson Buddle along with midfielder Juninho. But the loss of last year’s MLS Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez to a long-term knee injury reared its head more than the influx of attacking talent.After coming on in the 67th minute in a double switch, RSL stars Javier Morales and Alvaro Saborio tipped the scales in the visiting side's favor for good. The experienced pair energized the RSL, and a re-tooled Galaxy backline was unable to deal with the frequent attacks.
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