LA Galaxy play to a draw with Real Salt Lake


SANDY,UTAH (BDCi) — For the second week in a row, Real Salt Lake blew a lead and had to settle for a tie.

Two games into the MLS season the Galaxy are still looking for a win.

The Western Conference powerhouses swapped first-half goals, but couldn’t produce much more, leaving them tied 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.

As might be expected from rivals, neither team came away happy after facing each other for the second time in three weeks and less than five months after Salt Lake edged LA in a tense playoff series.

RSL forward Joao Plata continued his incredibly hot start to the season as he took advantage of an Omar Gonzalez miscue just 90 seconds in, and appeared headed for his third goal of the season, but the Ecuadorian curled his shot wide right.

Plata made up for that in the 19th minute delivering a beautiful assist to Alvaro Saborio inside the six-yard box after an RSL free kick. The Galaxy defense left Saborio so wide open that he had ample time to set himself before stroking the ball past Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Perk-standing in for usual starter Jaime Penedo- to give Real Salt Lake a 1-0 lead.

However in the 28th minute, Plata came up limping with a hamstring injury. He tried to walk it off and return to the game but was clearly hurting on the field and was subbed out in the 36th minute by Olmes Garcia.

The Galaxy took advantage of his limited mobility to press forward and sneak an equalizer on the counterattack after RSL left back Chris Wingert committed an ill-timed turnover

.Galaxy star Robbie Keane did not have as many chances as he normally does against Real Salt Lake but he made this opportunity count. After Wingert lost the ball at midfield, Keane raced down the right side, juked past backpedaling defender Chris Schuler and fired a low strike inside the near post to draw LA even in the 35th minute.

The Galaxy also were forced to sub out an injured player when defender James Riley went down with a knee injury and had to be replaced by Dan Gargan in the 33rd minute.

The game lost much of its rhythm in the second half as the two teams tussled to a midfield stalemate and goal opportunities were few and far between. LA has reason to be satisfied with a point after a draining week dominated by Tuesday night’s disappointing loss in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals second-leg loss to Club Tijuana

.The LA Galaxy have a long layoff until April 6 when they play their hallway rivals Chivas USA at StubHub Center.