By TYLER GRAY
SANDY, Utah- Real Salt Lake were hungry. They didn’t forget the 2-0 defeat the last time the Los Angeles Galaxy were in town, and they made sure they wouldn’t repeat the same mistake twice.
Despite relinquishing the lead right before halftime, the hosts came out of the break determined to grab three points. Substitute striker Olmes Garcia led the way, notching a second-half brace to secure the 3-1 victory over the Galaxy on Saturday night.
RSL head coach Jason Kreis stressed all the little things this time against LA.
“We had a pretty stern talk yesterday about not making any silly mistakes,” Kreis said. “I feel like the last two matches that the Galaxy has been here, they won both of those matches and they won them because we gave them goals.”
This time around Kreis and Co. would make the Galaxy earn everything they got, and apart from Galaxy forward Landon Donovan’s spectacular goal in the 46th minute, RSL made good on their commitment.
“We came out hungry,” RSL right back Tony Beltran explained. “It was back and forth, especially in the first half but we came out and earned it.”
Garcia entered the match and demonstrated more of that same hunger. He chased down what seemed like every long ball and fought for every 50-50.
“You can tell that he’s just a kid that really wants to do well,” Kreis said. “He really wants to take the next step in his career. He’s been given a terrific opportunity to do that, and I think if he continues to show that kind of hunger and that kind of desire, he has all the tools.”
Garcia was rewarded for his hard work in the 84th minute when he signaled to midfielder Javier Morales, who played a perfect cross to Garcia. The young striker rose up and headed the ball into the back of the net to give RSL a 2-1 lead.
But Garcia wasn’t done yet. With the Galaxy pushing hard for the equalizer in the dying minutes of the match, RSL sprung a counter attack. Morales again played a perfect through ball to Garcia, who ran onto it and slipped the ball between the legs of Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe to seal the 3-1 victory.
“We have a really good mix…every guy that is playing up there is doing a good job,” Morales said. “That is very important for a midfielder and for the team because they compete up there. Garcia did a great job tonight.”
Tonight’s goals were Garcia’s 3rd and 4th of the year, the first brace of his blossoming MLS career.
It was an impressive performance from the young striker whose head coach has said has all the tools.
“He’s an excellent dribbler,” Kreis said. “Excellent striker of the ball, excellent finisher, excellent with his head, excellent pace, excellent size. He’s got it all. For me, the only question mark would come down to desire and he’s showing that by the boatload.”
Garcia was all smiles in the locker room after the match, even joking with RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen.
“We are always a team,” Garcia explained. “And I am here to apply my skills and it’s my job to score.”
Job well done.
Here are the match highlights:
It was a very entertaining game. I am an RSL fan but also just a huge fan of pretty soccer. Garcia is so young, but there are not many players in any league in the world that have the complete set of skills like he has. In that way, he reminds me of a young Christiano Ronaldo. He has plus size, is good in the air, may be the fastest player in MLS, has phenomenal touch and skill, and lastly is already a polished finisher around the goal. He still has a ton of development to do in understanding the game, but his upside is huge.
I will go out on a limb and say right now that Olmes Garcia will lead MLS in scoring in 2015. Since RSL almost never plays on national TV, I am assuming that fans of other teams have not seen much of Garcia. He is a 20 year old rookie in MLS from Columbia who has only played about 400 minutes now. He has scored 4 goals but also hit the post at least 6 times. He is an absolute moster and is the soccer version of a 5-tool player from baseball. He can literally do everything above average already. Really excited to see, especially as an RSL fan. The thought of him and Saborio as a tandem for the next few years makes me positively giddy.
He just needs to stay healthy so he can continue to improve and fight for minutes
So does Magee just skip the Galaxy’s funeral or does he make it awkward and stand in the back with everyone staring at him?
Ha ha funny. But seriously no one should take the galaxy lightly because the have the ability to get another differencing making DP. Hopefully the dont though.
So when LD scored to tie it up, he doesn’t celebrate? Only Juninho was excited ran and jumped on him but the rest of the team barely took notice. Why?
Maybe they just expect it, or feel they’re so good it they’re above celebrating a goal on a team from Utah… Just speculation. I saw it and wonderered about it too. Could be that it was the end of the half. Stephens was visibly winded in the 30th minute so maybe it was to save energy.
umm. no on the first part.
Angry Landon doesn’t celebrate equalizers. I’m more concerned that no one stepped to Morales on the winning goal.
this. me too man
or it could be that the ball ricochet and feel to his feet for the shot and score and didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. His finish was excellent like the old LD that we used to know. On the bad side he did his usual disappearing act in the second half.
Intense game, perfect weather, very satisfying result. Both sides were quick to counter. An entertaining affair…
not the outcome I was interested in, but very enetertaining game it was. Congrats to RSL. Olmes Garcia, one to watch for sure
Galaxy miss Magee something fierce, and the WC callup guys, but Magee having a career year, and the Galaxy traded him for an out of form Rodgers. Man
Yes thanks arena for shipping Magee off to the eastern conference.
Signed, the western conference (except chivas usa who doesn’t care anymore)
They’re calling him Goalmes Garcia and you can see why. He’s silky smooth and he and Plata have brought more latin rhythm to RSL than ever before. Combine that with Sabo’s skills and Findley’s speed and Kreis has a good problem of who to start on his hands.
Job well done Goalmes.