Carson, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Galaxy kicked off their MLS Cup title defense in style on Sunday, earning a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake at the StubHub Center thanks to Sean Franklin's wonder strike early in the second half.
Los Angeles controlled the match from the opening whistle, though it failed to claim an advantage before the halftime interval.
But Franklin handed the home side the lead in spectacular fashion less than three minutes into the second period, taking a pass from Robbie Keane and lashing a first-time effort from distance just inside Nick Rimando's left post.
Real Salt Lake created numerous chances but was unsuccessful in nabbing an equalizer, while Keane came close to extending Los Angeles' lead on a few occasions only to squander each opportunity.
Instead, the Galaxy were made to settle for a one-goal aggregate lead heading into Thursday's second leg at Rio Tinto Stadium.