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LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake: 6 Things We Learned

Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IMarch 11, 2012

An unimpressive performance from the Los Angeles Galaxy could be the start of a tough March for Bruce Arena's men.
An unimpressive performance from the Los Angeles Galaxy could be the start of a tough March for Bruce Arena's men.Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

This isn't a shock score by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a crystal-clear example of how tough the MLS Western Conference is in 2012. Real Salt Lake begin the year in impressive fashion, defeating the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-1 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Here are six things we learned:

1. Bruce Arena took a gamble...and lost

The hope for Galaxy manager Bruce Arena was that he would be able to see from his first team a similar effort from last Wednesday against Toronto FC. I predicted that he would rest the starters on Saturday, but it looks like I was wrong on that. And Arena paid the price by seeing them burn out late.

2. The Galaxy are their own worst enemy

The fans at Victoria Street found out that their own team can be their own worst enemy. Case in point: the own goal by Sean Franklin that triggered the comeback for Real Salt Lake. A poor 73rd minute clearance attempt by Franklin resulted in a howler that would effectively turn the tables on the home side.

3. Welcome back, Edson

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I think it's safe to say that as long as Edson Buddle is able to find the next this season, the Galaxy will be able to get their head in a number of games. Buddle's 71st minute goal will not be the last one, that's for sure. A shame that that was all the No. 14 could muster.

4. The boys simply can't finish

CARSON, CA - MARCH 10:  Javier Morales #11 of Real Salt Lake celebrates his second half goal against the Los Angeles Galaxy during the MLS match at The Home Depot Center on March 10, 2012 in Carson, California. Real Salt Lake defeated the Galaxy 3-1.  (Ph
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

The shots don't lie: eight of the 16 attempts made on goal by the Los Angeles Galaxy were off target, whereas for Real Salt Lake, only five attempts on goal were off. The lack of effectiveness to finish is the No. 1 issue that will be on Arena's mind right now heading into Wednesday.

5. Real Salt Lake are ready to contend

This result is an example of Real Salt Lake looking to make a statement as a contender for some league hardware. It doesn't look like there are much health issues, and with Javier Morales and Fabian Espindola getting on the score sheet in emphatic fashion, it's safe to say that RSL are going to be all right in 2012.

6. There is hope for Toronto

Meanwhile, Toronto FC have to look at the game film from this match and have reason to believe that they can seal the deal Wednesday at the Home Depot Center in front of a reduced crowd. The Galaxy seem to be worn out from all the games played, including preseason, and the Reds will look to take advantage of LA's lack of match fitness when CCL resumes.

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