COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 24: Chris Birchall #8 of the Los Angeles Galaxy takes a pass from Adam Cristman #17 of the Los Angeles Galaxy as Julius James #26 of the Columbus Crew defends in the first half on September 24, 2011 at Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
After a thrilling midweek CONCACAF Champions League win against Morelia, the LA Galaxy must now shift its focus back to MLS and the hunt for the Supporters' Shield. The Galaxy take on rival Real Salt Lake, one of just three teams to defeat them this season, on Fan Appreciation Night at the Home Depot Center on Saturday night.
While Real Salt Lake are one of the Galaxy's main adversaries in the race for the top position in the Western Conference, LA is 10 points clear of RSL in the standings. RSL didn't help themselves this week, losing 3-0 to Chicago on Wednesday, and with precious little time left, their hopes of catching the Galaxy are fading fast. A win on Saturday would not only be sweet revenge for the Galaxy's 4-1 loss to RSL back on March 26th, but it would also eliminate RSL from the competition for the Supporters' Shield.
RSL will be without one of its top players, Kyle Beckerman, who was issued a red card in their loss to the Fire on Wednesday. Beckerman, who was recently called up to the USMNT team, has logged nearly 2500 minutes with RSL this season, and his presence will certainly be missed in the midfield.
The only team left that could possibly catch the Galaxy would be Seattle, who sit seven points back in the standings. If the Sounders lose to New England, the Galaxy would clinch the shield as long as they either win or tie against RSL.
Aside from the Supporters' Shield race, the Galaxy have another impressive feat at stake on Saturday. So far this season, LA has been undefeated at home, and not just in MLS but all competitions. Impressive, to say the least. Should this streak continue Saturday, the Galaxy will be one step closer to a season unbeaten at home, and the Supporters' Shield.
If you can't make it to the HDC, make sure you catch the action on FOX Sports West starting at 7:30 p.m.