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Sizzling Real Salt Lake face test in LA Galaxy

Real Salt Lake could face the toughest challenge yet to their historic unbeaten run when they host the LA Galaxy in a clash of Western Conference contenders on Saturday night.

West-leading Salt Lake (10-2-7, 37 points) extended its club-record single-season unbeaten streak to 15 games in its 4-3 win at Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday.

With manager Pablo Mastroeni electing to rotate his lineup and bring MLS leading scorer Cristian Arango (16 goals) off the bench at halftime, the Claret-and-Cobalt scored four or more goals for the fourth time this season.

Andres Gomez had two to become RSL’s second double-digit scorer with 10, and Arango contributed an assist.

With another win or draw, Salt Lake can move alone into second place on the all-time list of MLS unbeaten runs in a single season, behind only 2010 FC Dallas, which went 19 without defeat.

But that’s not on the mind of Mastroeni or his players, the manager insisted.

“There’s no time to really be excited about anything,” Mastroeni said after the win over SKC. “In terms of the streak, I think it’s really about being really process-oriented and thinking about the kind of team we want to be, what that looks like in the future and then working toward that vision every single day.”

The Galaxy (9-3-7, 34 points) are in third in the West, behind RSL and second-place LAFC on total wins, after they earned a 2-0 home win over New York City FC on Wednesday night.

Attacking midfielder Riqui Puig missed a second consecutive match. But Dejan Joveljic scored his team-leading 11th goal late in the first half and Diego Fagundez doubled the Galaxy’s advantage early in the second.

Galaxy coach Greg Vanney’s group recorded only its fourth clean sheet of the season, and just its second in a victory.

“I thought we stayed collective for the most part — stayed together,” Vanney said. “We were in good positions to help each other. They’re going to have their moments and they’re going to try to put balls in the box and put some numbers forward. I thought we managed most of them pretty well.”

–Field Level Media

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