SANDY -- The last time they landed at Rio Tinto Stadium, the Galaxy left Real Salt Lake with a bloodied nose.
Back on April 27, with Real and Los Angeles jockeying for table position, the Southern California side stunningly snagged a two-goal lead in the opening 13 minutes and carried that to the finish line in handing the Claret-and-Cobalt their only home defeat of the year.
That stinging loss proved to be a turning point for Salt Lake.
Real is 5-1-1 across all competitions (4-1-1 in Major League Soccer action) since that setback and has found the back of the net 17 times.
Salt Lake, fresh off a decisive 3-0 victory over defending Supporter's Shield winner San Jose, will host Los Angeles at 7:30 p.m. tonight, seeking to keep the wind squarely at it back.
It will, however, have to do so without several key pieces of its lineup.
Midfielder Luis Gil departed this week for duty with the U-20 United States Men's National Team and will be gone until at least July 3rd. Injured forward Alvaro Saborio is away on national team duty with Costa Rica, while defender Abdoulie Mansally is with Gambia for international duty.
Forward Robbie Findley, who missed the first match with Galaxy after suffering an injury during training the day before the match, is coming off one of his strongest matches of the year in the win over San Jose and will likely occupy one of the two starting forward positions tonight, teaming up with Joao Plata.
"When both of them are on their game, we've got two players who do so many different things," said Real boss Jason Kreis after the win over the Earthquakes. "They have great control with the ball. They can bring it down They both have excellent speed behind and so defenders need to be wary of them. They both finish well. When they are at the top of their game, they can go at defenders one-on-one and make things happen. They are both just very versatile players."
Since that victory at Rio Tinto in April, Los Angeles is just 2-5-0 in all competitions, and is coming off a 5-0 debacle at New England on Sunday, which saw the Revolution score four times in the final 19 minutes of regulation and stoppage. The Galaxy dominated the boll, holding possession at better than 60 percent of play, but had nothing to show for it when the whistle blew.
Real and Los Angeles has battled fiercely through the years, with the series sitting even at 9-9-5.
* USA 2, JAMAICA 1: At Kingston, Brad Evans scored in the second minute of stoppage time in the second half, giving the U.S. a thrilling win over Jamaica Friday t that solidified the Americans' chances of qualifying for next year's World Cup.
Jozy Altidore put the Americans ahead in the 30th minute, but Jermaine Beckford tied the score off a corner kick in the 89th as the U.S. again failed to hold a lead.
Just over a minute into stoppage time, Michael Bradley got around Alvas Powell and passed to an unmarked Evans, who turned and beat goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts from about 10 yards.