Los Angeles FC-Real Salt Lake Preview

Sports

Following another loss to its biggest rival, Los Angeles FC might need to dig deep and get its season headed in the proper direction.

LAFC hopes that begins Wednesday night when it visits Real Salt Lake, which is also looking to rebound from a frustrating defeat.

It looked as if LAFC (3-3-3) was ready to make a run following a resounding 5-1 win over San Jose last week. However, things came crashing back down with Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the rival Los Angeles Galaxy.

Mark-Anthony Kaye’s red card in the 53rd minute, just after the Galaxy went up 1-0, dealt a major blow to LAFC’s chances at salvaging something from the match. Two late goals from the Galaxy made matters worse and left coach Bob Bradley questioning the spirit of an LAFC side that’s without star Carlos Vela and talented midfielder Eduard Atuesta.

“The main message for (the) group is that in a moment when we are facing some tough times, everybody’s got to fight harder,” Bradley told the official website of MLS. “The main thing is the need for different guys to take more responsibility.”

It’s not like Bradley’s side is void of talent, but it’s just 1-3-0 since the resumption of the regular season. LAFC has also conceded nine goals over those four contests.

RSL (2-2-5), meanwhile, has also struggled to keep the opponent from finding the back of the net of late. After returning to regular-season play with a 4-1 win over Colorado, Salt Lake has been outscored 10-6 while going 0-1-2.

It endured a brutal showing during Sunday’s 4-0 loss at Minnesota United FC. Things went relatively well for Salt Lake during the first half before Minnesota did all of its scoring in the second. Adding to the frustration was that RSL had three goals taken back either through VAR or offsides.

If there was one caveat to Sunday’s setback, it was that key contributors such as Damir Kreilach (four goals in 2020), Corey Baird (two goals) and Albert Rusnak did not start. That being in hopes of trying to keep them fresh within the compact schedule during Phase One of the league’s return to the regular season.

“I don’t think (Sunday) ruins our momentum from previous matches,” defender Nedum Onuoha told Real Salt Lake’s official website. “It’s been a tough spell of matches for us going behind, and we just have the belief with our matches coming up.

“We’re disappointed, but we’ll draw a line underneath it after we look at it. We’re a good side, a confident side and we’ve got better performances in us.”

RSL has been outscored 13-5 while going 1-4-0 against LAFC all-time.

LAFC’s Diego Rossi has nine goals in nine official 2020 games, and three in five career contests versus Salt Lake.

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