LAFC vs. Real Salt Lake
MLS 2021 Season - Match 13
Saturday, July 17, 2021
7:30 p.m. PT
TV: My13 KCOP, Estrella TV
RADIO: 1110 AM ESPN, ESPN App (Audio), KFWB 980 AM
After an inconsistent start to the 2021 season, it appears that the pieces are starting to fall back into place after the Club downed Austin FC on Wednesday July 7, to take two-straight road wins for the first time since August 2019.
The Black & Gold took the lead in the first half on a Jose Cifuentes goal, giving him back-to-back matches with a goal to push him into a tie for the Club lead with four. Diego Rossi put the game out of reach in the 89th minute on for his fourth of the season.
“It was a good match. Defensively we weathered the storm, we didn’t give them too many chances, I thought we did really well,” said LAFC winger Raheem Edwards. “Another clean sheet away from home which is massive.”
Up next, LAFC faces a Real Salt Lake squad they defeated just 14 days ago, but the confidence the team is bringing to this match is vastly different. Prior to that July 3 matchup, LAFC was still searching for its first road win of 2021, and rookie goalkeeper Tomás Romero was shaking off a 2-1 defeat at Sporting KC in his MLS debut.
After defeating RSL and Austin, the Club has now won three of its last four and has lost just once in its last five games.
RSL is also on a hot streak, downing Vancouver 4-0 in their last game – so the matchup at Banc of California stadium should be an exciting one.
REAL SALT LAKE IN-DEPTH
RSL is a club coming off a major win over Vancouver. They are a side that has been together for a long time with a good mix of youth and experience. They possess a dangerous attacking core in Bobby Wood, Albert Rusnak, and Damir Kreilach, and an equally serviceable backline with the likes of Aaron Herrera and Justin Glad. Look for RSL to potentially switch up their formation to a back five instead of four in defense to give LAFC a different look from the last matchup.
THE BATTLE OF THE YOUNG GOALKEEPERS
This matchup features two 20-year-old keepers in LAFC’s Tomás Romero and RSL’s David Ochoa. Both have been making a name for themselves recently, and both are dual nationals, with Romero featuring in the past for El Salvador and Ochoa recently being called in to train with the Mexican National team.
“It helps that we haven’t conceded a goal in three of the four that I’ve played in,” said Romero. “I think that helps a lot, just that my teammates know that if they make a mistake that I’m there to cover them, so I hope to keep that going.”
LAFC WILL WIN IF
They can keep play in the middle of the pitch. LAFC excels when they dictate play through the middle as opposed to the flanks, and if they can continue to do that they will find success.
REAL SALT LAKE CAN WIN IF
They finish better than they did in against LAFC on July 3, where they created a lot of chances that seemed to go straight to Romero.
As part of the Club’s July Month of Giving, LAFC will also be accepting new and gently used sports equipment that they will be donating to local youth organizations at the match.
Inspired by Lawrence of Arabia (1962).