LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake: Changes ahead after poor showing

USA TODAY Sports

The LA Galaxy need to make some changes ahead of their weekend tilt with Real Salt Lake if they hope to turn things around from the 5-0 drubbing last week.

The LA Galaxy didn't play well against the New England Revolution. That much is fairly plainly clear. Squawka.com has it listed as the club's third worst performance of the year, with only the 2-2 draw with Toronto FC and the 1-0 loss to FC Dallas coming off worse.

The only players Squawka felt performed well were Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas, and Sean Franklin. So what changes could be made, and would they be improvements? The latter is a tough question to answer, but the former is a bit easier.

My thought last week was that Landon Donovan needed to pair with one of the young forwards up top since thus far this season, two young forwards up top has been a bit of the blind leading the blind. Bruce Arena unfortunately had this same thought and we were both wrong and it didn't work.

When Robbie Keane partners with a Gyasi Zardes, he says take my hand if you want to live and guides him around the box. On the heat map, Donovan's warmest areas were in the defensive half. Yes, Donovan moved back after Jose Villarreal came in, but it's not a coincidence that Donovan's best pass to Zardes came from about the midway line.

So let Donovan start in the midfield. Donovan, Sarvas, Juninho and possibly Robbie Rogers if he's up top to it. Michael Stephens would be fine if Rogers isn't. It might be worth it to think about starting Charlie Rugg with Gyasi Zardes up top. He scored the last time the Galaxy were in Salt Lake.

Todd Dunivant's status is one of the great unknowns, but if he can go that'd be a defensive improvement. Cochrane did improve after he gave Sene the inside on New England's first goal, but that end of match meltdown by the entire back line means changes are likely. Possibly Leonardo gets back in the mix.

RSL are coming off a great match against the San Jose Earthquakes, with a pairing in Robbie Findlay and Jaoa Plato showing solid finishing.

If LA are going to get the result, they need to turn their ability to control possession into shot opportunities. Being sharper around the box is going to be the key area of improvement from week to week. That and not giving up three goals in five minutes at the end.

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