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Slim hopes at stake in Real-Galaxy clash
by Ridge Mahoney, September 19th, 2007 7:01AM

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TAGS:  mls


REAL SALT LAKE (4-13-7) vs. LOS ANGELES (4-13-5)
Wednesday, 9 p.m. ET, Direct Kick

Two of the three Argentines recently imported by RSL coach Jason Kreis are suspended, which enhances somewhat the prospects that the Galaxy can reverse a 2-1 loss at Home Depot Center Sept. 1.

Yet nothing else gives the Galaxy much inspiration as its record plows deeper into futility.

Eight losses in the last 10 league games and being shut out six times leave it at the bottom of the overall league standings, two points behind Real Salt Lake.

Veteran Galaxy midfielder Cobi Jones is on the brink of his 300th league appearance. He got the start last Sunday as Los Angeles collapsed in the second half Sunday after reaching halftime tied, 1-1, with Houston thanks to an Alan Gordon header.

Not for the first time, poor defending opened the trapdoor.

Left back Mike Randolph gave away a penalty kick seconds into the second half and Ricardo Clark added the clincher for Houston when defender Ty Harden and keeper Joe Cannon let a ball roll free for Clark to bang into the net.

Forward Yura Movsisyan arrives from Kansas City via a trade just in time, as Fabian Espindola's red card in a 0-0 tie with Toronto Saturday rules him out of this match.

RSL generated just five shots but ground out a 0-0 tie playing a man down for 55 minutes. If Kreis keeps four in the back, veteran Ritchie Kotschau could be paired with Eddie Pope in place of defender Matias Mantilla, who picked up his fifth caution - in just six games! - against Toronto.

A big crowd -- fueled by tickets bought before David Beckham arrived and subsequently was injured -- is expected at Rice-Eccles Stadium, where the University of Utah pounded UCLA 44-6 in a college football game Saturday.

MLS STATISTICS (through Sept. 17)
STANDINGS
Eastern Conference
Team W-L-T PTS

* D.C. United 15-6-4 49
* New England 13-6-6 45
New York 11-10-4 37
Kansas City 10-9-6 36
Chicago 8-10-6 30
Columbus 6-9-10 28
Toronto FC 5-13-6 21

Western Conference
Team W-L-T PTS

* Houston 13-7-6 45
Chivas USA 13-6-4 44
FC Dallas 12-9-3 39
Colorado 7-10-8 29
Real Salt Lake 4-13-7 19
Los Angeles 4-13-5 17
* Clinched playoff spot.

SCHEDULE (home team first, times ET)
Wednesday, Sept. 19
Real Salt Lake-Los Angeles, 9 pm.
Thursday, Sept. 20
FC Dallas-Chicago, 8 pm.
Saturday, Sept. 22
Toronto FC-Columbus, 3:30 pm.
New York-New England, 7:30 pm.
Real Salt Lake-Colorado, 9:30 pm.
Chivas USA-Kansas City, 10:30 pm.
Sunday, Sept. 23
Chicago-D.C. United, 3 pm.
Los Angeles-Houston, 8 pm.

WEEK 24 RESULTS
Wednesday, Sept. 12

D.C. United 2 Real Salt Lake 1
Thursday, Sept. 13
Chivas USA 3 Los Angeles 1
Saturday, Sept. 15
Toronto FC 0 Real Salt Lake 0
New England 4 FC Dallas 2
Kansas City 3 Columbus 2
Chicago 2 New York 2
Sunday, Sept. 16
Colorado 1 Chivas USA 1
Los Angeles 1 Houston 3

LEADING SCORERS
Player (team) GP G

Emilio (D.C. United) 24 19
Angel (New York) 19 15
Johnson (Kansas City) 19 15
Galindo (Chivas USA) 23 12
Twellman (New England) 22 12
Razov (Chivas USA) 23 8
Altidore (New York) 17 8

ATTENDANCE
Team: average home attendance

Los Angeles: 23,565
D.C. United: 20,065
Toronto FC: 20,098
New York: 16,266
New England: 16,181
Real Salt Lake: 15,816
Chicago: 15,491
Colorado: 15,048
FC Dallas: 14,982
Houston: 14,832
Chivas USA: 13,203
Columbus: 12,969
Kansas City: 9,736
Leaguewide: 159 games, 2,538,607 fans for 15,966.

GOALSCORING AVERAGE
Team: goals scored per game

D.C. United: 1.92
New England: 1.72
Chivas USA: 1.63
Kansas City: 1.60
New York: 1.56
Houston: 1.46
FC Dallas: 1.33
Los Angeles: 1.18
Columbus: 1.16
Chicago: 1.04
Colorado: 1.04
Real Salt Lake: 0.96
Toronto FC: 0.75
Leaguewide goals per game average: 2.68 goals per game.



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