GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (ABC4 Sports) – It wasn’t as bad as the first time they played in March, but Real Salt Lake is still looking for its second road victory of the season after a 2-0 loss at Los Angeles FC.
In March, LAFC handed RSL its only home loss of the season, a 5-1 blowout at Rio Tinto Stadium. Wednesday night, RSL fell in another early hold as Christian Ramirez scored off a beautiful touch on an assist from Carlos Vela to give LAFC a 1-0 lead.
In the 30th minute, Ramirez scored his second goal of the game, as Eduard Atuesta’s crossing pass went through the legs of defender Nick Besler’s legs, resulting in an open look for Ramirez.
“Well, we played a little differently today and there was a reason for that, as we have not gotten results on the road,” head coach Mike Petke said. “We really took a close look at how LA has fared against its last six opponents, and three of those results they didn’t get were against teams that played five in the back. In the first half we had two or three counter opportunities, and we didn’t put them away. We left [Christian] Ramirez pretty much wide open on two goals and he’s going to put those away.”
RSL had a few scoring chances, but Tyler Miller made four saves for the shutout. Sebastian Saucedo had a team-high three shots on goal.
Rimando exited at halftime after suffering an injury, and was replaced by Andrew Putna, who made four saves in his MLS debut. This was the first time in his 462-game career that RImando was subbed out.
“I thought he came on in a very difficult situation, without experience in that situation, and I thought he did very well,” Petke said. “From a bad thing where Nick got hurt, it’s almost a good thing that he went into a situation like that where he didn’t have time to think, just go on and just do his thing.”
Despite the loss, RSL (10-10-5) stays above the playoff line in sixth place in the Western Conference, two points clear of Vancouver.
Real Salt Lake next travels to Houston to take on Dynamo Saturday night at 6:00 p.m.