A highly anticipated U-17 match at Generation adidas Cup between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake took place at a crucial juncture of the tournament. With all three teams in the group standing on three points and heading into the final match, it was imperative that each team go for the victory. A beautiful summer evening in Frisco, Texas provided the perfect backdrop for this encounter. Real Salt Lake stormed out from the opening whistle and wanted the victory. Early firm possession and a few shots on goal from RSL set the tempo. The Galaxy team decided to bring the pressure and forced a few RSL turnovers. Galaxy were quick to counter on those mistakes but the RSL defenders held it together for the first twenty. RSL striker Ben Spencer did his best up front to crack the Galaxy defense and went close on a few attempts in the first half. The Galaxy team held their composure throughout the first half and were awarded for their play. A good build up and ball movement saw Galaxy take the lead in the 21st minute courtesy of Sebastion Velasquez. RSL responded and continued to move forward, forcing many corner kicks along the way. Early first half RSL substitute Kainoa Bailey made a quick impact as he attacked the Galaxy defenders, forcing the action. The RSL team shifted gears in the second half and dominated the first ten minutes as the ball rarely left the LA side of the field. Unfortunately the RSL side could not find a clear cut chance and were once again punished for not being spot on. Galaxy player Paul Aririola was given space to turn and blasted an absolute cracker of a goal from distance to give LA a two goal lead. RSL responded well and did not give in while LA stood back in defense. The RSL team attacked until the final whistle but could not score their first goal as the Galaxy team defended well. Despite forcing at least a dozen corners, RSL could not capitalize. This was a game of missed opportunities for the Real Salt Lake team while the Galaxy converted. In a game of inches, the team that converts most often wins the match. The RSL team is back in the action today against the New England Revolution.
Ben Fritz Spencer