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LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake play to a rough 0-0 draw

Jaime Penedo was the man of the match, but Juninho and A.J. DeLaGarza had some good plays in front of him. A 0-0 draw means LA needs to win to advance against RSL.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake played to a 0-0 draw in Sandy, Utah tonight with Jaime Penedo coming up huge on a number of draws. Both clubs came out and played high pressure, with Salt Lake showing better pass combination and the Galaxy having to rely more on the counter. RSL keeping LA off the board means they have the advantage in all draw scenarios next weekend thanks to the new MLS away goals rule. Still, LA only needs to win and go through, and home teams tend to do well in MLS.

Wind was howling in Utah, making it tough for long balls in the area. Shots knuckled, and crosses went wherever they pleased. That made direct short passing on the ground a better way to go, and RSL figured this out sooner than LA to the tune of six shots on target. LA was extremely limited in chance creation relative to their standard.

Omar Gonzalez showed mental fatigue tonight, with A.J. DeLaGarza called on several times to bail out his central defense partner. Juninho also did well in front of the back four. Gonzalez and Robbie Rogers both picked up yellow cards, something to be aware of when considering playoff yellow card accumulation.

LA should be confident that they can win in a must-win situation against Salt Lake next week. Bruce Arena hardly used subs and Salt Lake used no subs at all, as both coaches know these are the guys who can get it done. There's not much left to do but do it again.