LOS ANGELES — The LA Galaxy defeated Real Salt Lake 2-0 Saturday night in front of an announced 25,462 fans at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., in their last match before the World Cup break.
Zlatan Ibrahimović returned to the starting line up for the Galaxy after coming off the bench in their last MLS match, a 1-1 draw in Portland. After scoring two goals Saturday, Ibrahimović made the case that he still deserves that starting spot in the lineup.
Also returning to the lineup was forward Ola Kamara, previously away on international duty with Norway. He played 45 minutes in Norway only three days prior to the Galaxy match, but was deemed fit enough to make the starting XI.
The first half was somewhat tedious for both sides. There were a total of seven shots combined in a scoreless first half, and possession statistics were split almost exactly down the middle for both sides.
Midfielder Sebastian Lletget took a knock to his right ankle at the end of the first half. He eventually was subbed out in the 49th minute, replaced by Bradford Jamieson IV. It was Jamieson’s first league appearance in the 2018 season, after recovering from a concussion he sustained during the preseason.
Jamieson made almost an immediate impact on the pace of the match, providing a spark offensively that was previously missing from the Galaxy. The second half leaned much more in the Galaxy’s favor, and the team found more opportunities on goal.
Ibrahimovic opened the scoring for the Galaxy in the 61st minute and struck again in the 67th minute, both headers after a string of possession from the Galaxy.
Jun 9, 2018; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (9) and Real Salt Lake forward Brooks Lennon (12) battle for the header during the first half at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Kamara netted a goal of his own, a screamer from the left side of the 18 yard box to the far post, in the 76th minute.
“I am feeling good and it was important after maybe a big miss for Norway and then I missed the first one in this game, so to actually get that goal it was important for me,” Kamara said. “But of course the shutout, the three points and three goals is a good feeling to end the first half of the season.”
Ema Boateng subbed in for Ibrahimovic in the 86th minute and Ariel Lassiter subbed on for Chris Pontius in the 92nd minute, bringing even more pace to the Galaxy’s attack.
“In the first half, the one thing we’ve been talking about is that it’s tough to play when you go down one and two to nothing,” Schmid commented of the team’s performance. “And so, that’s our main objective coming out in the first half. The important part of the first half was that we came out at zero, and I think when we come out at zero at halftime, good things happen for our team, so the second half; that confidence, and not having to play from behind makes a big difference.”
The Galaxy held onto the the three-goal lead and clean sheet to defeat RSL 3-0 at home. Their next match is June 30th in San Jose, and their next home MLS match is July 4 against DC United. Full video of Schmid’s post-game press conference is below.