LA Galaxy coach Greg Vanney conceded his team are feeling the pressure after a run of seven games without a win left them in a scrap for the playoffs in the Western Conference.
The Galaxy lost 2-0 at Austin FC last time out, following on from a 3-0 defeat to Minnesota United, who were the last team they beat, back in August.
Wednesday’s meeting with Real Salt Lake seems like a must-win for the Galaxy’s confidence, though they are facing a team that would go above them with a win and are looking to bounce back from a 6-1 loss to the Portland Timbers.
“Are there alarm bells? For sure. Everybody feels some urgency to obviously shift the momentum to get that result that we need to keep going. But as I said to them, we keep fighting,” Vanney said.
“We’re in a position right now where we control our own destiny. We need to keep our heads up and keep fighting every game and keep pushing for the next opportunity.
“It just takes one win and one result to get us the momentum shifted the other way, which may even just mean one goal, get one goal, one first goal. And we may be able to shift the tide of this thing.”
RSL interim coach Pablo Mastroeni, meanwhile, reflected on his team’s heavy defeat to Portland.
He said: “My message was that this game is worth three points. The next game at home is the most important game of the season for this group. We’ve got to make sure that we get over this quickly and digest it, but more importantly look forward and think about this moment and how we can improve ourselves as a whole moving forward to Wednesday.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Real Salt Lake – David Ochoa
After conceding six goals to Portland, goalkeeper David Ochoa will be determined to be back at his best between the sticks for RSL on Wednesday.
LA Galaxy – Victor Vazquez
Victor Vazquez set up five chances for team-mates in the Galaxy’s loss to Austin on Sunday, the second time this season he’s set up at least five chances in a match.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Vazquez ranks fourth in MLS in chances created per 90 minutes at 3.13, behind only Carles Gil (5.36), Emanuel Reynoso (3.81) and Maximiliano Moralez (3.21) (minimum 900 minutes played).
– Real Salt Lake has lost only two of its last 12 home matches against the Galaxy dating back to June 2013 (W5 D5, including playoffs). There have been 26 goals combined in the last six meetings at Rio Tinto Stadium (4.3 per match), with each side winning twice and drawing twice.
– Real Salt Lake’s six goals conceded against Portland on Saturday equaled the most its ever allowed in an MLS match. It was the first time RSL has allowed six goals in a match since June 2017 against FC Dallas.
– The Galaxy are winless in seven straight games following a 2-0 loss to Austin on Sunday. LA has gone consecutive games without scoring for the first time since a three-match run in September 2020.
– Real Salt Lake has conceded 18 goals since Pablo Mastroeni took over on August 27, most in MLS in that time. RSL has allowed at least three goals in four of those six games after doing so just once in its previous 27 games dating back to October 2020.