CARSON, Calif. (Saturday, May 11, 2024) – Real Salt Lake (6-2-4, 22 Pts, 1st West) came away with a single road point at the Galaxy, with a Chicho Arangofirst-half brace staking RSL to a 2-0 halftime lead. But home side goals early and late in the second half doomed the visitors. as a 94th minute equalizer from Los Angeles Galaxy squared the match. The draw extends RSL’s streak of MLS matches undefeated to eight – including six on the road without a loss – and re-establishes Captain Chicho atop the MLS Golden Boot race. 

Watch / Listen to RSL Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni’s Commentary following 2-2 draw at LA Galaxy on Sat., May 11, 2024.

With both offenses patiently sizing each other up, it would take eight minutes until the first chance of the game. LA’s Riqui Puig streaked across the top of the RSL box, drawing the attention of the defense before laying it off to his right for a charging Joseph Paintsil. Face-to-face with Zac MacMath at point-blank range, it was only kept out by a heroic last-minute deflection by Alex Katranis

Real Salt Lake’s first chance of the match would come five minutes later. Pressing high up the pitch, Andrés Gómez and Matt Crooks harassed an LA defender with the ball at his feet, managing to win possession just outside of the Galaxy box. With only one defender back, Crooks flicked it forward into the box for Gómez as Arango and Diego Luna charged in for support. Taking the centerback’s attention right in front of goal, Gómez attempted a clever pass to Arango for the finish but it narrowly went past the outstretched boot of his striker.

Even with the threatening moves by both sides, neither team tallied a shot on goal until the 13th minute. In a deja vu moment, the Galaxy’s next big chance was nearly a mirror image of the first. Puig controlled it around the box, finding Paintsil by way of Dejan Joveljić deep on the right side for another point-blank duel with MacMath, this time saved as the veteran keeper charged off his line.

Despite LA Galaxy’s domination of possession, shots and shots on target in the first 20 minutes, it would be RSL that broke through first for the early lead. As Real Salt Lake patiently probed for an opening while passing around the midfield, Braian Ojeda found Katranis with space out on the left wing. Controlling it with his head up, Katranis spotted Arango in the center of the box and whipped a perfectly weighted ball into the dangerous area. Even with a defender positioned in front of him, Arango leapt up and over to connect with a header and send it into the back of the net.

Fresh off the goal, a dynamic clearly switched as RSL began imposing their will on the game. Stealing the ball off of a free kick with a cunning move in the 30th minute, Arango found himself in a two-on-one with Gómez as it flew into the dangerous area. Taking the defender with him, Arango laid it off to Gomez for the shot, opting for a left-footed curling attempt at the far post only kept out by a great save from John McCarthy.

The pressure would pay off for RSL in the form of a two-goal lead in the 40th minute. As Gómez controlled the ball on the right wing with a single marker, he played a quick give-and-go with Crooks to fly by the defender and find nothing but open space between him and the goal. Drawing the defense as he drove deep into the box, Gómez played it across the middle as Luna faked a touch and let it go by for Arango behind him. Showing his technique, Arango ripped a cross-body, one-time shot with his right foot past McCarthy and into the top corner for his MLS-leading 11th goal of the year. 

Coming back out for the second 45 as Los Angeles looked to chip away at RSL’s lead, the Galaxy would get one back in the 54th minute. As Paintsil moved into space on the right side of midfield, he played it centrally for Puig on the outskirts of the box. Holding up play as his teammates overlapped, he laid it off for Gabriel Pec. Opting for a low, driven near-post strike, MacMath got a hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out.

In a scary moment that seemingly appeared out of thin air, Galaxy nearly equalized in the 76th minute. AsAndrew Brody came under pressure in the defensive third and played it back to MacMath, his touch was heavy and took him away from net. Noticing the opportunity, two LA attackers flew at MacMath and surrounded him to win it back. With no keeper in net, Puig played the ball across the middle but a crucial intervention from Emeka Eneli cleared the danger.

In the game’s final touch four minutes into stoppage time, LA Galaxy equalized. As the Galaxy threw themselves forward in one last push for a goal, Puig controlled the ball on the right side of the attacking third. As his attackers in the box made a coordinated run, Puig curled the ball to the penalty spot, bending just around the RSL defenders and onto the right foot of a sliding Miguel Berry for the tap-in goal. The final whistle would come immediately following restart from the goal to send both teams home with one point.

Fans can catch RSL in action on Wednesday when the team returns home to America First Field for an MLS showdown with Seattle Sounders FC – kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. For tickets, schedules, info, news and more around the Western Conference’s top team, visit rsl.com/tickets

RSL 2 : 2 LA 

GOAL-SCORING SUMMARY:  

RSL – 20’ Chicho Arango (Alex Katranis): As Real Salt Lake patiently probed for an opening while passing around the midfield, Braian Ojeda found Alex Katranis with space out on the left wing. Controlling it with his head up, Katranis spotted Arango in the center of the box and whipped a perfectly weighted ball into the dangerous area. Even with a defender positioned in front of him, Arango leapt up and over to connect with a header and send it into the back of the net.

RSL – 40’ Chicho Arango (Andrés Gómez & Matt Crooks): As Gómez controlled the ball on the right wing with a single marker, he played a quick give-and-go with Matt Crooks to fly by the defender and find nothing but green grass between him and the goal. Drawing the defense as he drove deep into the box, Gómez played it across the middle as Diego Luna faked a touch and let it go by for Arango behind him. Showing his technique, Arango ripped a cross-body, one-timed shot with his right foot past McCarthy and into the top corner. 

LA – 54’ Gabriel Pec (Riqui Puig):  As Paintsil moved into space on the right side of midfield, he played it centrally for Puig on the outskirts of the box. Holding up play as his teammates overlapped, he laid it off for Gabriel Pec. Opting for a low, driven near-post strike, MacMath got a hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out.

LA – 90+4’ Miguel Berry (Riqui Puig): Winning the ball deep in RSL territory, Bruce quickly passed to Hernandez in the center of the attacking third. Creating space from his defender with a quick change of direction, Hernandez flipped his hips and ripped a shot at the near post from distance, flying past a diving Beavers and into the corner.

RSL v LA NOTES:

  • Two players, Philip Quinton and Tommy Silva, receive their first career MLS starts in a Claret-and-Cobalt kit, with Silva getting the first MLS minutes of his professional career, as the 210th player to appear for RSL in its 626-game MLS history.
  • Captain Chicho Arango scores a first-half brace to bring his goal total to 11, tying him with Christian Benteke (DC) and Luis Suarez (MIA) for top spot in the MLS Golden Boot race. His seven assists are also tied for third in the league.
  • Real Salt Lake’s run of matches unbeaten is extended to eight, stretching all the way back to March 9 (COL); RSL has earned points in its last six road games, losing only the Feb. 21 opener at Miami.
  • Second-year MF Emeka Eneli plays the full 90 minutes, extending his streak as the only RSL player to play every minute of every MLS match this season. Eneli is one of 16 MLS players this season with the full 1080 minutes.
  • Real Salt Lake’s point keeps them atop the Western Conference standings with 22 points, currently sitting two points above idle Minnesota United – with the Loons now owning two matches in-hand.
  • Tonight wa she fourth time this season RSL has scored first and failed to secure the full three points, with road draws at St. Louis, Minnesota and LA Galaxy, as well as the home loss to Colorado.

LINEUPS:

Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Zac MacMath; Philip Quinton; Justen Glad; Bode Hidalgo (Andrew Brody, 17’); Alex Katranis (Tommy Silva, 72’); Emeka Eneli; Braian Ojeda; Andrés Gómez; Diego Luna (Fidel Barajas, 84’); Matt Crooks (Anderson Julio, 72’); Chicho Arango © (Nelson Palacio, 84’)

Subs not used: Nelson Palacio, Maikel Chang, Bertin Jacquesson, Gavin Beavers

LA Galaxy (4-2-3-1): John McCarthy; Miki Yamane; Jalen Neal; Maya Yoshida ©; Julián Aude; Marco Delgado (Daneil Aguirre, 87’); Gaston Brugman (Edwin Cerrillo, 80’); Riqui Puig; Gabriel Pec; Joseph Paintstil (Diego Fagúndez, 82’) ; Dejan Joveljić (Miguel Berry, 68’)

Subs not used: Novak Mićović, Martín Cáceres, Mauricio Cuevas, John Nelson, Jonathan Perez

Stats Summary: RSL / LA

Shots: 12 / 26

Shots on Goal: 4 / 7

Saves: 5 / 2

Corner Kicks: 3 / 12

Fouls: 13 / 7

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:

RSL: Matt Crooks (Yellow, 23’), 13 Total Fouls

LA: Julian Aude (Yellow, 18’) 7 Total Fouls

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