CARSON, Calif. (ABC 4 Sports) - Just when it seemed like Real Salt Lake might see its 2012 campaign start off the same way its 2011 season ended, the Utah side roared back against the Los Angeles Galaxy with three late goals to register a 3-1 win at The Home Depot Center. While the result might not have avenged last November’s stinging defeat in the Western Conference Championship in the same building, the comeback win in front of a sold-out crowd of 27,000 did allow RSL begin its league slate with a victory in California for a third straight year, following on back-to-back season-starting wins at San Jose in 2009 & 2010.
After an entertaining, but ultimately scoreless, first 45 minutes, the Galaxy took the lead in the 71st minute through FW Edson Buddle, who marked his return to MLS by heading home MF David Beckham’s pinpoint cross just inside the left post. But, much like in last November’s contest, Real Salt Lake equalized within two minutes, as MF Sebastian Velasquez’s cross from the right flank was deflected in by Galaxy DF Sean Franklin, his attempt at a sliding clearance instead bouncing past GK Josh Saunders to even things up at 1-1.
Real Salt Lake would need no help to take the lead in the 80th minute, as MF Javier Morales crashed the six-yard box to knock a loose ball off of Saunders and into the roof of the net to give RSL the lead at 2-1. Striker Fabian Espíndola would give RSL an insurance tally five minutes later, running onto FW Álvaro Saborío’s header at midfield and past Galaxy DF A.J. DeLaGarza into the area before shooting low and right of Saunders to seal the three points for the visitors.