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RSL ends Galaxy's reign in overtime
by Paul Kennedy, November 8th, 2013 12:22AM
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[MLS PLAYOFFS: Real Salt Lake-LA Galaxy] The LA Galaxy's run as MLS champion is over. There won't be a record third straight MLS Cup title. There won't be a record sixth straight Western Conference final appearance. Real Salt Lake disposed of the Galaxy, 2-0, in overtime to move into the Western Conference final with a 2-1 aggregate victory.

After going ahead on Sebastian Velasquez's goal in the 35th minute, RSL had plenty of chances to win in the second half -- two shots off the woodwork, a goal controversially disallowed -- before giant Chris Schuler scored in overtime to break the series tie late in the first overtime period.

The Galaxy had a late chance, but RSL goalie Nick Rimando took a ball off his face to stop Juninho's fierce shot that the wind carried and bounced in front of him.

On both goals, the Galaxy defense was caught napping -- a problem all season and it contributed to its exit before the conference finals for the first time in Bruce Arena's five full seasons in charge.

To even his surprise, the 5-foot-5 Velasquez found himself open for a header that he put past LA keeper Jaime Penedo.

The second goal came when Javier Morales' free kick sailed in the wind over the line of Galaxy defenders to Schuler, who was free at the far post to blast past Penedo.

The goal was a just reward for Schuler, who had an excellent game but was whistled for a foul on Omar Gonzalez that negated what would have been a winning goal by Morales on another free kick late in regulation.



Nov. 7 in Sandy, Utah
Real Salt Lake 2 LA Galaxy 0 (OT). Goals: Velasquez (Wingert) 35, Schuler (Morales) 102.
Real Salt Lake -- Rimando, Beltran, Borchers, Schuler, Wingert, Velasquez (Stephenson 91), Gil, Beckerman, Morales (Grossman 106), Saborio, Findley (Garcia 77).
LA Galaxy -- Penedo, Opare (Villarreal 106), Gonzalez, Dunivant, Franklin, Sarvas (Courtois 112), Juninho, Rogers (DeLaGarza 76), Zardes, Keane, Donovan.
Yellow Cards: Real Salt Lake -- Saborio 69, Stephenson 97.
Referee:
Baldomero Toledo.
Att.: 19,042


2 comments
  1. Mark Hardt
    commented on: November 8, 2013 at 10:34 a.m.
    The problem was Robbie Rogers. Why they traded for him is a mystery. Because of double teaming he saw the ball on almost every attack. But his crosses were sloppy and he gave away the ball too often. They would have been better off with their 35 year old Frenchman on the bench.
  1. Kent James
    commented on: November 8, 2013 at 11:50 a.m.
    Although the disallowed goal was controversial, you shouldn't blame the ref for making the call. Schuler was clearly holding Gonzalez, and Gonzalez was the closest defender to the ball. If Schuler is not holding Gonzalez, there is no call. The argument that the hold was insignificant in the grand scheme of things is weak. The better question is, if Schuler was not hoping to hurt Gonzalez' ability to defend, why hold him at all? Fortunately, Schuler made up for it with a fine finish for the winning goal. But people who make conscious decisions (or unconscious ones because they do it so often it becomes habitual) to break the rules should have no complaint when they're punished.

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