CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy host Real Salt Lake tonight at the Home Depot Center. Salt Lake lost on Wednesday to the Chicago Fire; that means that if Seattle Sounders FC does not defeat the New England Revolution, LA can clinch the Supporters' Shield with a win or a draw. RSL are coming off two straight loses, while the Galaxy are unbeaten at home this year, and are riding a six game unbeaten run overall.
Sean Franklin was seen on crutches Wednesday at the Home Depot Center; he's now listed amongst those with season ending injuries. The Galaxy will certainly miss the spark he provided, but hopefully they will get back some of their injured stars soon. Robbie Keane has been kept out of the lineup recently with gluteus tightness, Mike Magee left the pitch at halftime Wednesday with a hamstring strain. David Beckham and Donovan Ricketts are also questionable, but it's unlikely Beckham misses the match.
Not the Real are without their own issues. They will finally get back Javier Morales, who suffered a fractured ankle after Chivas USA's Marcos Mondaini took him down with a reckless tackle. Yet, they will be without Kyle Beckerman, who was red carded in Wednesday's loss. RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando (who received his first national team call-up this week) is listed as questionable.
The Galaxy and Real Salt Lake last played before Javier Morales' four month stint on the Injured Reserve. On that day in Salt Lake, Morales scored twice and set up a third goal as RSL rolled to a 4-1 victory. The Galaxy were without Landon Donovan in the match, who was on international duty. The two teams have split their last four matches at the Home Depot Center, with LA winning 2-1 last year.
However, at the opposite end of the season, that match seems like ancient history. RSL's involvement in Champions League disrupted much of their early season, and in the meantime, the Galaxy have built a sizable in the West and in MLS overall. With a win tonight, LA would tie the modern era regular season MLS record for points (MLS only allowed draws after 2002, even though shootout wins were only worth 1 point).
Mainly because of the rash of injuries, Bruce Arena had to make five changes to his roster between the 3-0 victory over Vancouver and the 1-0 victory over Columbus. The 1-0 loss to Alajuelense in Costa Rica midweek took a toll on the available roster, with David Beckham flying home to LA, and Robbie Keane pulling up injured. Landon Donovan and Beckham should be available, though it's likely Arena will have to trot out another heavily improvised lineup.