October 29, 2020
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Photo by Glen Marshall, CSUDH Bulletin

By Victor Munoz, Staff Reporter

The LA Galaxy have their eyes set on securing a playoff spot as they visit Real Salt Lake, a direct rival from the Western Conference who is also fighting for the postseason, on Wednesday, Sept. 25. 

There are three matches left and in the Western Conference there is only a six-point difference between second place (Seattle Sounders) and eighth place (Portland Timbers), so the spots are all up in the air and anyone in between those spots could be excluded from the coveted MLS playoffs.

The Galaxy, after last Saturday’s 2-1 victory at home against Montreal Impact, currently sits in fourth place with 48 points while Real Salt Lake is in fifth with 47 points. 

LA Galaxy head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said they are not yet thinking of playoffs. Their only concern is the next game, which is against Real Salt Lake.

Galaxy’s 48 points have come from 15 wins and three ties. Only three teams in the MLS have obtained more victories than the Galaxy. The team has also suffered 13 defeats. 

The race to see who will make it to the playoffs will not be the only photo finish in the MLS this season. The race for the Golden Boot (top goal scorer) is also extremely tight going into the final three games. Carlos Vela (LAFC) currently leads the race with 29 goals. Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic trails Vela by two goals with 27 on the season and Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez is in third with 26 goals on the season. All season long, the debate about which Los Angeles superstar is the superior one has been a hot take. The Golden Boot race just serves as another talking point in the heated debate. 

Martinez has scored in the last 15 MLS games but, due to injury, is in doubt to play in the final matches of the MLS regular season. This makes the Golden Boot race a two-horse race between Vela and Ibrahimovic.

“I am the MVP of MVP’s, I don’t focus on that (scoring race), I focus on performing to make my team win,” said Ibrahimovic. 

Not only does Zlatan put himself on top of everyone in the MLS, but his head coach puts him in the stratosphere of the best players to ever grace a soccer pitch.

“I say it all the time, [Zlatan] is at the same level as [Leo] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo,” said Schelotto. 

Kickoff for the LA Galaxy-Real Salt Lake match begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN+ and Spectrum Sportsnet. 

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