• FT

    Colorado

    2

    Columbus

    0

  • FT

    Vancouver

    2

    Montreal

    0

  • FT

    DC United

    0

    Kansas City

    1

  • FT

    Los Angeles

    1

    Salt Lake

    3

  • FT

    San Jose

    1

    New England

    0

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

StubHub Center, United States

Attendance: 27000

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Los Angeles

  • Edson Buddle 71'

1 - 3

FT

Real Salt Lake

  • Sean Franklin 73' OG
  • Javier Morales 80'
  • Fabian Espindola 85'

Real Salt Lake ruins Galaxy's title celebration

By GREG BEACHAM

AP Sports Writer

CARSON, Calif. (AP) -- When David Beckham put a dazzling pass off

Edson Buddle's forehead and into the net, the Los Angeles Galaxy

appeared to be picking up right where they left off last season

in their dominant run to the MLS title.

About 20 disastrous minutes later, Beckham and his Galaxy

realized nothing will be easy about repeating their championship

run.

Javier Morales scored Real Salt Lake's go-ahead goal in the 80th

minute after a tying own-goal by Los Angeles' Sean Franklin, and

Fabian Espindola added another late score in a 3-1 victory that

spoiled the Galaxy's celebratory season opener Saturday night.

Before the game, fans from the Galaxy's top supporters groups

pulled down two black curtains in the rafters above the south

end of the pitch, unveiling Los Angeles' banners honoring the

club's second straight Supporters' Shield and its third MLS Cup

championship. But the celebration was over after Salt Lake

handed the Galaxy their first home loss in 26 matches since Nov.

14, 2010.

Beckham's service on Buddle's 71st-minute goal was the most

impressive moment of the start of the English superstar's sixth

season with the Galaxy, who re-signed him to a two-year

contract. He was greeted with a pregame standing ovation at Home

Depot Center from a crowd holding signs reading "Welcome back

Beckham!" and "L.A. Loves You, David!"

"I saw a few welcome-back signs out there, but I didn't know I'd

gone," said Beckham, who lives in Los Angeles mostly year-round

now.

Buddle's goal put the Galaxy ahead, but they fell apart moments

later, with Franklin's accidental deflection of Sebastian

Velasquez's pass leading to two more Real goals, all in a

12-minute span.

Coach Bruce Arena blamed himself for fielding a lineup of tired

players after Los Angeles' difficult CONCACAF Champions League

match in Toronto on Wednesday.

"I think we all felt good going into the game, but the fatigue

of playing a hard game on turf and then traveling back took its

toll," Beckham said. "I thought we had quite a few chances to

win it, but there were a few mistakes. We'll be OK."

Indeed, the Galaxy must take a long-term view to survive a tough

early schedule. They drew with Toronto FC 2-2 three days ago on

the unforgiving artificial turf of Rogers Centre, but only after

overcoming an early 2-0 deficit by playing several key players

all 90 minutes.

Arena said the Galaxy's busy first week amounted to a "very poor

job on behalf of the league in terms of scheduling."

"I should have used fresher bodies," Arena said. "We hit the

wall and just made mistakes attributable to fatigue. At this

time of year, players aren't fit to play that much."

Salt Lake, which lost to Los Angeles last season in the Western

Conference final, took charge after Franklin's own-goal. Morales

capitalized on a miscommunication in Los Angeles' defense to

score the winner, banging a short shot past Josh Saunders in the

box. Espindola got another in the 85th minute on the run,

celebrating in front of Real's small band of traveling

supporters.

Real Salt Lake also begins the season with high expectations

after falling one game short of the MLS Cup last season, but

they opened without elite defender Nat Borchers, who's still

recovering from offseason surgery. Top goal-scorer Alvaro

Saborio and Morales, who also had surgery, came on as

substitutes.

Buddle immediately scored in his return after a year away in

Germany's second division, while Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane

also played aggressive games for Los Angeles. But the Galaxy's

stars quickly learned that even Home Depot Center isn't

sacrosanct after they didn't lose here all season long in 2011,

capped by their ostensibly neutral-site victory in the MLS Cup.

"To go on a run like that when you're unbeaten at home for that

long, you have to have some things go your way," Donovan said.

"Tonight, some things just went against us. These first few

games are about recovery and getting ready to go. We have to get

whatever rest we can and get ready."

Los Angeles was MLS' best defensive team last year, but has

already yielded five goals in two matches this week. Tommy

Meyer, the Galaxy's rookie first-round pick, took Omar

Gonzalez's spot in the middle of the defense. Gonzalez, the

reigning MLS Defender of the Year, is out indefinitely after

surgery on his left knee.

Scoring Summary

  • Los Angeles
  • Real Salt Lake
Edson Buddle (71')

Match Stats

  • Los Angeles
  • Real Salt Lake
17(4) Shots (on goal) 13(4)
14 Fouls 10
7 Corner kicks 2
3 Offsides 4
49% Time of Possession 51%
0 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
2 Saves 3

Teams

  • Los Angeles
  • Real Salt Lake
Substitutes
Substitutions
Yellow Cards