The Galaxy didn't begin the season they way the anticipated, and fell to Real Salt Lake in a close 1-0 loss on Saturday night at Stub Hub Center.
Real Salt Lake (RSL)'s Joao Plata scored in the 80th minute against a run play. Kyle Beckerman found Plata perfectly in the spot outside of the Galaxy zone, where Plata slipped past Omar Gonzalez to score the goal.
“We came in at half time wondering how we weren’t ahead, and the next thing you know it’s the 80th minute and we’re down a goal and we’re chasing the game. It’s hard to understand how that could happen, but that’s the way it is, and when you don’t finish your chances you get punished sometimes," said Landon Donovan.
RSL completed their fifth straight opening day victory against a very tough Galaxy team. RSL goalie Nick Rimando make a spectacular dive in the 93rd minute to deny Robbie Keane an opportunity to score a goal late.
"They're a terrific team, one of the best teams in the league in my eyes, especially at home. It's tough to get a result, let alone a shutout here, and they came at us like we knew they would and I thought the defense played great, and by defense I mean the whole team," said Rimando.
Rimando had his hands fully majority of the night against the determined Galaxy. The Galaxy missed two golden opportunities to score in the first half as Keane missed a goal that hit off the right post in the 34th minute.
“I think I missed opportunities certainty in the first half and it certainly cost us the game, no question about that. I think that with the chances that we had, we could have killed the game," said Robbie Keane. "We didn’t and let them get back into the game. It was a lot of positives in this game, certainly a lot of positives but if you don’t take chances you don’t win games."
Landon Donovan tried to push past Rimando for the goal, and was unsuccessful. Donovan still remains with 134 goals which ties him with Jeff Cunningham for the all time MLS record.
“It’s obviously a disappointing result. I thought it was a good game, two good teams. They made the most out of their opportunities. We had a couple of good chances as well. Our best players had a few good looks at the goal," said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena. "I think Nick Rimando was outstanding and certainly saving the penalty in extra time was outstanding and play of the game."
The Galaxy get ready for CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Club Tijuana on Wednesday night.