While their history may be brief — just two matches (okay, very brief) — Real Salt Lake and Los Angeles Football Club do have some interesting storylines heading into their Western Conference playoff matchup on Thursday.
For one, Real Salt Lake was the first team LAFC put a real beating to.
Real Salt Lake 1, LAFC 5
Let us take you back to March. It was a relatively nice day outside at the Rio Tinto Stadium and expansion side LAFC was coming off a season-opening win at home.
Some thought it might just be a fluke that Bob Bradley’s side came away with the week one victory and that going on the road to Utah would show just what the Black-and-Gold were going to be this season.
After Joao Plata’s penalty kick put RSL up 1-0, few knew what to expect from LAFC.
Enter Diego Rossi in the 30th minute:
Oh, he wasn’t finished there as just three minutes later, he found Latif Blessing in the area for with a wide open shot on goal to put the Black and Goal up 2-1.
But wait, still not done. Advance to the second half and this gem by Benny Feilhaber:
Then, in the 81st minute … welcome back Rossi.
Finally, to conclude the dismantling of Real Salt Lake on the road, Carlos Vela found the back of the net for the first time in an LAFC jersey.
Of course, there was the staggering assessment of the match from Real Salt Lake General Manager Craig Waibel:
LAFC 2, Real Salt Lake 0
Now, fast forward to August. LAFC had just lost three in a row — including the heartbreaking U.S. Open Cup semifinal at Houston. So, something needed to change right?
This time, instead of Rossi, it was Christian Ramirez who provided the spark for LAFC and helped them snap the streak.
Vela found Ramirez in the 13th minute for what would be Ramirez’s first goal in his first start for LAFC:
Just about 20 minutes later, Ramirez got a brace after Eduard Atuesta crossed a ball through defender Nick Besler’s legs and right to Ramirez.
So, there you have it. A goal-by-goal look at LAFC’s control over Real Salt Lake this season. All told, LAFC scored seven goals to just a penalty for RSL.
What does that translate to? Well, nothing really because this is the playoffs!!
What do you think? Post your comment below!