Archive | September, 2011

Galaxy defeat Morelia, Keep CONCACAF Hopes Alive

Posted on 29 September 2011 by iyeo

Things seemed to be slipping away for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Tied at one heading into stoppage time, it looked as if the Galaxy’s chances of advancing to the group stages of the CONCACAF Champions League Tournament would end at the hands of Monarcas Morelia.

Instead, the Galaxy persisted, and got one last shot, and it came from Landon Donovan, Chad Barrett and Juninho. Donovan’s set piece was followed by Barrett’s header to Juninho, and his strike at the start of stoppage time kept LA’s CONCACAF quarterfinal hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Morelia at the Home Depot Center.

“We definitely needed to win, especially at home,” Juninho said. “You always want to get three points at home and that’s what we did.”

The win forges a three-way tie between the Galaxy, Morelia and Costa Rica’s LD Alajelense pending the latter’s matchup with point-less Honduran club CD Motagua on Thursday night. Los Angeles can book its spot in the next round of the tournament with a win over Motagua in Honduras on October 20.

Tied at one with only three minutes of stoppage time left to preserve their chances of advancement, the Galaxy had a corner kick at the right corner. Landon Donovan sent the corner into the 18, Chad Barrett headed a ball into the six and an unmarked Juninho cashed in on the opportunity, as he slotted a point-blank look past Morelia keeper Federico Vilar to the far post. Unlike the last time the two teams met, where the Galaxy had a late equalizer against Morelia calledd back due to what looked like an incorrect offside call, the flag didn’t go up this time around.

Both teams came into the match missing key players. Morelia was missing striker Joao Rojas, whom manager Tomas Boy said had missed Morelia’s last two matches due to “muscluar injury.” The Galaxy’s absences were even more glaring, as they were without striker Robbie Keane, who was out due to an injured gluteus as well as midfielder David Beckham, out due to yellow card accumulation.

Despite the absences, the Galaxy had one objective heading into Wednesday’s match, and that to get three points. The Galaxy struck first in the 21st minute, as Todd Dunivant’s cross went between a Morelia defender’s leg on its way into the box, where Mike Magee slotted a shot past Morelia keeper Federico Vilar to the back post to stake Los Angeles to the lead.

“Before he (Magee) even got to me, he was yelling,” Duinvant said describing the play. “I gave it a quick peak, took a touch, the defender opened his legs and I put through right to Mike and it was great finish.”

The Galaxy took the lead into the halftime break, but 15 minutes into the second half, Morelia tied the match. It started when Bryan Jordan cut off a Damian Manso cross, only to see the ball go into the penalty area, where Rafael Marquez Lugo just happened to be. Marquez beat Saunders to the loose ball and buried the point-blank shot for the equalizer.

“The game was there for us for the taking,” Boy said. “We conceded an early goal a bit silly, but we bounced back from that and we were able to get our game going.”

Energized by the goal, Morelia looked to put the Galaxy out of commission as the match wore on. Morelia had a great chance in the 81st minute to get a second goal when Damian Manso collected Omar Gonzalez’s clearance attempt and let loose inside the penalty area, only to see it bounce off the crossbar, then off Saunders and somehow still in play. The ball was cleared out eventually by AJ DeLaGarza. Morelia failed again to get the second goal when Aldo Ramirez received a through ball inside the 18 which drew out Saunders, but his attempt missed the back post.

“We gambled a lot over the last 15 minutes,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “We opened ourselves up and we’re fortunate that Morelia didn’t close us out.”

So hopes for one trophy are still alive for the Galaxy, but they will look to take a big step towards sealing another trophy on Saturday night, as they host Real Salt Lake, where a win over them pretty much stamps home a second consecutive Supporters’ Shield.

Los Angeles Galaxy 2, Monarcas Morelia 1
CONCACAF Champions League; Group A
September 29, 2011; Home Depot Center

Scoring Summary
LA – Mike Magee (Todd Dunivant) 21
MM – Rafael Marquez Lugo (unassisted) 60
LA – Juninho (Chad Barrett, Landon Donovan) 91

Discipline Summary
MM – Diego Jimenez, 55
LA – AJ DeLaGarza, 67
LA – Paolo Cardozo 70

Monarcas Morelia – Federico Vilar, Enriquez Perez, Rafael Marquez Lugo (Miguel Sabah 64), Luis Miguel Noriega (Adrian Aldrete 54), Felipe Ayala (Aldo Ramirez 64), Yasser Corona, Damian Manso, Manuel Perez, Angel Sepulveda, Diego Jimenez.

Substitutes not used: Felipe Rodriguez, Luis Alonso Sandoval, Edgar Lugo, Joel Huiqui.

Los Angeles Galaxy – Josh Saunders, Todd Dunivant, Omar Gonzalez, Frankie Hejduk, (Hector Jimenez 64), Landon Donovan, Adam Cristman (Chad Barrett 67), Mike Magee (Bryan Jordan 45), Juninho, AJ DeLaGarza, Michael Stephens, Paolo Cardozo.

Substitutes not used: Brian Perk, Jovan Kirovski, Dan Keat, Miguel Lopez.

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Refocused United races away to a 4-1 win

Posted on 25 September 2011 by Steve Long

After losing a 2-0 lead on Wednesday night, Ben Olsen confessed that he didn’t know how to train his players to maintain their focus. On Saturday, it appeared that he had found the way.

Granted, the spectacular hat trick from Dwayne DeRosario, which set a new MLS record at 31 minutes for earliest completion of the feat, was a masterpiece of individual effort, but the real story was how he was set up to succeed.

The Canadian emphasized the contribution of those around him, “I can’t speak more highly about the performance all around from the guys. I think collectively, as a unit, it was first class, from Bill right up to the forwards.”

DC United and Real Salt Lake have a history of playing possession soccer. Often that results in a grinding fight in midfield. In this particular game, both teams came out with the same idea, play compactly to thwart midfield linkups and flip the ball over the top or slip it through openings to get behind the defense.

DeRosario credits the strategy for both Najar’s goal off his finely threaded through ball and his own header off Najar’s perfectly placed lob. “Most importantly, we kept our shape and that’s what Ben wanted us to do.” He later added, “We stuck to the game plan, stayed compact.”

There is an adage in soccer that says, “Front to back, play compact; side to side, keep it wide.” Although most often adhering to the rule, both teams sometimes reverted to half-width play, leaving space down the sides which was almost never exploited by Salt Lake and more often put to use by United.

Veteran and captain, Josh Wolff seconded DeRosario’s praise of the overall team effort, “We’re not a one man show although DeRo takes a lot of the credit tonight…It comes back to the discipline of how we approach things.”

He elaborated on playing a compact style front to back and featuring over the top balls, “It’s indicative of the guys you have out there.”

When a team has players like Najar, Marc Burch, or Santino Quaranta who can place long balls onto attackers’ heads or feet, opponents can more easily be bypassed when front to back distance is shortened. “They (RSL) do a good job of closing space like we talk about in our group, keeping the space between forwards and the backs to 35 yards.”

A shortened midfield negated one of Salt Lake’s most potent weapons, Kyle Beckerman, who never seemed to have enough room to dominate play as he has so often in the past. Conditions were a bit unusual for both teams and, “I think we responded better…Andy’s ball to DeRo was amazing and obviously DeRo’s to Andy was as well”, was how Wolff summed it up.

Former DC United coach, Peter Nowak will surely study the films of this game and it will be interesting to see whether he chooses to play the compact game on Thursday or finds another way to open up play to put extra stress on United’s young back line.

Scoring Summary:

DC — Andy Najar 4 (Dwayne De Rosario 11) 13
DC — Dwayne De Rosario 11 (Andy Najar 6) 22
DC — Dwayne De Rosario 12 (Josh Wolff 6) 27
DC — Dwayne De Rosario 13 (unassisted) 31
RSL — Alvaro Saborio 10 (Paulo Araujo Jr. 4) 86

Real Salt Lake — Nick Rimando, Blake Wagner (Will Johnson 62), Nat Borchers, Rauwshan McKenzie, Chris Wingert, Arturo Alvarez (Luis Gil 62), Kyle Beckerman, Collen Warner, Ned Grabavoy, Paulo Araujo Jr., Jean Alexandre (Alvaro Saborio 75).

Substitutes Not Used: Fabian Espindola, Javier Morales, Chris Schuler, Tim Melia.

D.C. United — Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen, Ethan White, Brandon McDonald, Marc Burch, Andy Najar (Brandon Barklage 81), Stephen King, Clyde Simms, Austin Da Luz, Josh Wolff (Blake Brettschneider 74), Dwayne De Rosario (Joseph Ngwenya 65).

Substitutes Not Used: Charlie Davies, Santino Quaranta, Daniel Woolard, Joe Willis.

Misconduct Summary:

RSL — Collen Warner (caution; Reckless Tackle) 59

Referee: Edvin Jurisevic
Referee’s Assistants: Chris Strickland; Adam Garner
4th Official: Andrew Chapin

Time of game: 1:49
Weather: Partly Cloudy-and-73-degrees
Attendance: 16,367

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Sloppy United gives away 2-2 tie

Posted on 22 September 2011 by Chris Snear

DC United scored twice, for them in the unlikeliest of fashion, but in what has become the painful story of this season, couldn’t close the game out, squandering a two goal lead to settle for a 2-2 draw with Chivas USA at cool but soggy RFK Stadium Wednesday night.

Juan Pablo Angel continued to haunt United regardless of the shirt he wears, scoring twice in the second half to bring the game to level terms after United extended a first half lead just a few minutes into the second half.

“There is a mentality to this game right now that some of our guys don’t have. You have to have it for 90-minutes and you have to have it game-in-and-game-out and we don’t have it. Part of it is youth and part of it is complacency.

“It’s the way we fade in and out of games as a group, the way we take breaks; it’s the reason why we haven’t won two games in a row in three years. It’s a mentality that after you do well then it’s okay now and we can afford to let down.”

United have not won consecutive league matches since early June of 2009, a span of over 70-matches, and those also represent the last successive home wins as well.

United (8-8-11, 35 points) not only frittered away this game but an opportunity to leapfrog New York (7-7-15, 36 points) in the tightly contested Eastern Conference playoff race, as the Red Bulls were dumped at home by Real Salt Lake.

“I don’t know if we should have been up 2-0 but we were and to tie that game is absolutely ridiculous,” Olsen continued.

Chivas had lost four in a row coming into the match and are now winless in their last seven games. United pounded Chivas 3-0 in at Home Depot Center just 11 days earlier but this was not the same team that United faced that night.

Dwayne De Rosario scored his 10th goal of the season with a rare header to give United the lead in the 39th minute with Ethan White adding another in a seemingly rarer fashion, off a corner, to give United a two goal cushion shortly after halftime.

De Rosario was awarded a less than deserved penalty kick to possibly win the game in the 93rd minute but in what could be deemed poetic justice or just plain fair, the kick was saved by goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.

As De Rosario was aiming to get onto a weakly floated ball into the penalty area, Angel barely got his hand on the back of the Canadian international. When De Rosario flopped to the turf, Referee Chris Penso bit, and pointed to the spot for the late game gift.

In the first half, De Rosario had snuck through a crowd of players to nod home Andy Najar’s free kick after Jorge Flores carelessly handled the ball just outside the top right corner of the penalty to give United the lead.

Other than an early deflected shot by Marcos Mondaini that challenged United keeper Bill Hamid, the goal was the most compelling moment in an otherwise listless first half where neither team looked ambitious enough to take hold of the match or worthy of a playoff spot.

Chivas had been very diligent in quickly double teaming any United player that received the ball in a dangerous position.

“We played like boys and not just the second half; I thought in the first half we played soft,” said Olsen. “We are up 2-0 and we think the game is easy; we think we don’t have to tackle, we don’t have to win second balls, let’s just roll the dice and hope we get lucky. It’s absolutely gonna stop, it has to stop or we will not be going to make the playoffs it’s that simple.”

On United’s second goal, De Rosario got into another good spot, flicking a short range shot that Kennedy did well to get flare out his right hand and knock away. But no one bothered to mark Ethan White on the follow up and he knocked it home with authority to make the score 2-0.

Charlie Davies had a good chance to tack on another one and possibly put the game out of reach in the 53rd minute with a left footer from a step right of the penalty spot but Kennedy was well positioned to deflect it away to safety.

“When it’s 2-0 in the second half you have to take those opportunities to kill off the game whether it’s getting that third goal or shoring up things around the field and we lost that urgency on the defensive end after we got that two goal lead and thinking it was going to be a little easier to close out the game,” said Josh Wolff.

“We have to do the little bit of extra work that closes the game down and makes it difficult for the other team. There is a lot that goes into that but at that point, our general makeup has to play with a little more bite, a little more urgency and not give anything away.”

United were duly punished for sloppy coverage in the 58th minute by one of the great finishers in MLS history. Angel easily beat Perry Kitchen to a simple, and uncontested, cross from Nick LaBrocca at the right edge of the penalty area to draw one back for Chivas.

Brandon McDonald had slipped on the wet turf, giving LaBrocca plenty of time of time and space to deliver the fruitful ball across the face of the goal.

Angel corralled Ante Jazic’s bouncing ball from the left side, took a step inside and blasted home a relatively easy finish from 8-yards for a player of his caliber to bring the game to level terms in the 69th minute.

Laurent Courtois nearly stole a win for the visitors but Hamid neatly blocked the Frenchman’s left footed shot from 13-yards after the Frenchmen inexcusably got behind Kitchen for a semi-break away in the 85th minute.

“I haven’t seen consistent, game after game, high level performances. It’s there – the talent is there, but talent is not enough. I have been on terrible teams that have won games because we had guys that would do anything – anything – to win a game,” said Olsen.

“And that means if they are tired, if they lose the ball, they don’t stop. If you have to run 40 yards as hard as you can to tackle or to help a teammate, you do it. And that part is missing, and it has got to stop.

“I don’t know necessarily how to instill it right now but certainly I am going to do my best to try and instill it.”

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Galaxy Wear Down Whitecaps

Posted on 18 September 2011 by iyeo

A 3-0 win might be considered an easy night for any soccer team.

Just don’t tell that to the Los Angeles Galaxy, certainly not on Saturday night against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Vancouver certainly didn’t play like a team that was in last place in the Western Conference with only 22 points against the vaunted Galaxy on Saturday night. Yet when 90 minutes were played between the two teams at the Home Depot Center, the Galaxy were further atop the conference and league stadings following its 3-0 win over the first-year Whitecaps.

“It’s good to win,” Landon Donovan said. “We weren’t perfect by any means, but we made the plays we needed to make to win the game.”

The win gives the Galaxy a league high 58 points and thus keeps some considerable distance between them and their Western Conference competitors. LA was led by defender Bryan Jordan, who assisted two goals, one of them going to midfielder Mike Magee, whose two goals in the match gave him his first brace in six years when he notched two goals for the then-New York Metrostars in a 5-4 win over the New England Revolution.

“Bryan was crossing some amazing balls tonight,” Magee said of Jordan’s passess.

Holding on to a 1-0 lead in the second half, Los Angeles appeared to dodge a bullett in the 63rd minute when Camillo appeared to have been taken down in the penalty area, but no call was made much to the infuriation of the Whitecaps, which resulted in Eric Hassli recieving a yellow card for dissent.

“You trying to get me into trouble,” Whitecaps head coach Tom Soehn said jokingly when asked about the play.

After that, the Galaxy took over. LA got a cushion goal in the 65th minute when David Beckham sprung an overlapping Bryan Jordan, who then crossed a ball into the penalty area to Robbie Keane, whose header beat Whitecaps keeper Joe Cannon near post to widen the Galaxy lead. LA sealed the three points in the 75th minute when Jordan again crossed into the 18, this time to Magee, who guided his header perfectly to the back post and across the goal line.

“It was a fantastic ball,” Keane said of the pass that led to his goal.

Vancouver certainly showed up on Saturday night. The Whitecaps got off two early long-range bombs right on frame that required the action of Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders. The Whitecaps continued to apply pressure as the match went on. Davide Chiumiento had possession outside the penalty area inthe 29th minute and curled a shot on goal, but missed the back post. Three minutes later, Vancouver had perhaps its best chance at a score when Shea Salinas sprung Eric Hassli with a brilliant through ball into the 18. Hassli fired a rocket, but was denied by Saunders.

“They sat back a lot,” David Beckham said of the Whitecaps’ effort. “We just had to be patient.”

That patience finally paid off in the 40th minute. Keane had possession on the left side of the penalty box and slipped a through ball into the 18, where Magee finished off a volley that beat Joe Cannon near post to break the ice.

“I thought we came to play tonight,” Soehn said. “Unfortunately, good teams will punish you for your mistakes.”

Another busy week awaits the Galaxy, as they travel to Costa Rica for a CONCACAF Champions League matchup against LD Alajuelense, followed by a showdown of conference leaders between them and the East-leading Columbus Crew at Crew stadium on Saturday. Vancouver meanwhile resumes the fight for the Cascadia Cup the same day as they welcome the Seattle Sounders to Empire Field.

Los Angeles Galaxy 3, Vancouver Whitecaps 0
September 17, 2011; Home Depot Center

Scoring Summary:
LA — Mike Magee 4 (Robbie Keane 1, David Beckham 13) 40
LA — Robbie Keane 2 (Bryan Jordan 1) 64
LA — Mike Magee 5 (Bryan Jordan 2, David Beckham 14) 75

Misconduct Summary:
VAN — Alain Rochat (caution; Tactical Foul) 17
VAN — Gershon Koffie (caution; Reckless Tackle) 28
VAN — Eric Hassli (caution; Dissent) 62

Lineups:

Vancouver Whitecaps — Joe Cannon, Jonathan Leathers, Jay DeMerit, Alain Rochat, Jordan Harvey, Shea Salinas, Gershon Koffie (Jeb Brovsky 76), Peter Vagenas, Camilo, Eric Hassli (Mustapha Jarju 73), Davide Chiumiento (Long Tan 65).
Substitutes Not Used: Michael Boxall, Nizar Khalfan, Alexandre Morfaw, Jay Nolly.

LA Galaxy — Josh Saunders, Bryan Jordan, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Landon Donovan (Michael Stephens 78), David Beckham (Dan Keat 78), Chris Birchall, Mike Magee, Paolo Cardozo, Robbie Keane (Miguel Lopez 84).
Substitutes Not Used: Chad Barrett, Adam Cristman, Frankie Hejduk, Brian Perk.

Referee: Michael Kennedy
Referee’s Assistants: George Gansner; Corey Parker
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
Attendance: 22,959
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Clear and 68 degrees

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Ben Olsen’s growth to be tested versus Sigi Schmid’s experience

Posted on 15 September 2011 by Steve Long

DC United’s very young coach Ben Olsen has proven that he has a strong sense of where to take his team and of how to get there. He has acquired most of the players needed to implement his vision while building the knowledge of how to teach them and blend their talents.

He seems also to have learned to deal with the uncontrolled variables that plague MLS teams, dealing with random injuries while picking off good value via trades for Wayne DeRosario and Brandon McDonald after earlier acquiring the recovering Charlie Davies. Another wise pickup was Josh Wolff.

United comes into Saturday’s game in Seattle off a solid performance against an admittedly struggling Chivas side. The loss of an in form Chris Pontius in that game will take some of the edge off, but Wolff may have recovered from his own injuries in time to be very useful.

Seattle comes off a league loss that stopped an extended unbeaten streak followed by a nice CONCACAF win on Wednesday at Herediano. The short turnaround and travel involved should put a slight dent in the fitness of a few Sounders’ players, but the wise Sigi Schmid left a few key elements at home.

In turn, Olsen has kept his charges out West to shorten their travel. He will probably opt for a maximum effort despite the upcoming Wednesday-Saturday home stand in the next week. Schmid has an even quicker turnaround as Herediano visits on Tuesday, but has just beaten them away and risen to a solid position atop Seattle’s CONCACAF group.

Although Dejan Jakovic is listed as questionable, Olsen is unlikely to risk him in light of the upcoming stressful schedule. The early season blooding of Ethan White has given the rookie a much improved vision of the game and he should do well.

Following their season long development plan, the United staff are confident in their depth for now. Joe Willis has developed nicely and may fill in if Bill Hamid’s hamstring remains touchy. Austin DaLuz has also shown well on the left side and Marc Burch has come back strong from injury to support the portside as well.

Tino Quaranta missed several months with an extended concussion recovery, and looks fresh and sharp. The energy he will provide if he is kept on the left wing will be vital to replace some of Pontius’ dynamism.

An alternative to Wolff up front might be to start the aggressive Blake Brettschneider , who is a lesser skilled version of Pontius, in order to wear down Seattle’s defense before throwing Wolff in to outthink and outrun them.

Both teams have a big investment in the match as Seattle nears clinching a playoff berth and looks to a high seeding while DC wants to claim maximum points from the games they have in hand on so many rivals for a playoff spot.

As with most MLS games, this one will have twists and turns as the game progresses. Ben Olsen’s strategic vision has proven to be solid so far, but Sigi Schmid is one of the most astute coaches in MLS and will provide a stern test to Olsen’s still developing tactical sense.

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Galaxy down Rapids, Clinch Playoff Spot

Posted on 10 September 2011 by iyeo

Over the years, the Colorado Rapids had enjoyed success against the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.

The Rapids had beaten the Galaxy in its last three visits to the stadium, with one of them being a US Open Cup match, which Colorado won in a penalty shootout. This time however, LA made sure the result was to their liking. One strike in the first half off the foot of Landon Donovan was all the Galaxy needed to break the Rapids’ hex at the HDC and more importantly, re-assert themselves in the Supporters Shield race, as Los Angeles became the first MLS team to clinch a playoff spot with a 1-0 win over the Rapids.

“It was a big game for us tonight,” Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said. “Colorado always comes in here and gives us a hard time, so I think it was important we were on top of our game.”

The win gives Los Angeles 55 points, seven ahead of the second-place Seattle Sounders pending the outcome of its important matchup with Real Salt Lake tonight at Qwest Field. Just as important for the Galaxy, they are the first team to clinch a playoff spot.

“I think we clinched one a while ago,” joked Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.

After countless opportunities for Los Angeles went begging, the Galaxy finally delivered in the 36th minute. It started when Chad Barrett played a ball forward from the right to a sprinting Sean Franklin. The midfielder, who had a brace on Labor Day against Sporting Kansas City, saw Landon Donovan unmarked at his left and quickly played a ball to him and Donovan’s one-timer beat Matt Pickens to the back post to put LA ahead.

“Between Paolo (Cardozo), David, Chad (Barrett) and Sean, they did a great job of combining and Sean did a great job to find me,” Donovan said of the goal.

The Galaxy, bolstered by the return of goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts between the pipes, held Colorado to only two shots, one on goal, in the first half. The Rapids didn’t improve that number by much, but the chances it had were very dangerous. Colorado’s first real chance at an equalizer actually went in when Wells Thompson buried a rebound shot far post after Ricketts had denied Sanna Nyassi inside the penalty area, but Thompson was ruled offside thus negating the goal. Ricketts came up huge again in the 71st minute when he denied fellow Jamaican countryman Omar Cummings point-blank inside the 18, though Ricketts was again aided by the linesman.

“The second half was much better for us,” Rapids head coach Gary Smith said. “Possession was much better and we were able to disrupt the possession that the Galaxy had had in the first half (and) we had better territorial advantage in the second half.”

Midfielder Paolo Cardozo got the start for Los Angeles as part of Bruce Arena’s plan to conserve bodies ahead of the Galaxy’s huge CONCACAF Champions League matchup at Monarcas Morelia on Tuesday. Cardozo rewarded Arena with a solid performance, controlling possession and igniting several chances for LA. Cardozo himself had as many as four chances to put one in the back net, but was undone either by bad luck or the efforts of Rapids keeper Matt Pickens.

“He’s responding well,” Arena said of Cardozo. “He’s had such a great attitude over the last couple of months to get better and listen to some of the things we’ve talked to him about. Tonight, his performance was real good.”

While Cardozo and Ricketts were in the starting 11, forward Robbie Keane began the match on the bench as Arena preferred to play it safe just days after Keane had returned from Europe following international duty with the Ireland national team. Keane eventually entered the match in the 60th minute for Chad Barrett.

“If Robbie had his way, he’d probably play 90 minutes.” Arena said. “We’ve got to think about the player as well as the team and we didn’t want to put him in a position where he could get hurt.”

The Galaxy now turn its attention to its scintillating CONCACAF Champions League matchup with Mexican Club Monarcas Morelia at Estadios Morelo on Tuesday. The Rapids will also be busy in CCL play with a Mexican squad on Tuesday night, though they will have the fortune of having it in the friendly confines of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, as they host Santos Laguna.

Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Colorado Rapids 0
September 9, 2011; Home Depot Center

Scoring Summary
LA – Landon Donovan (Sean Franklin, Chad Barrett) 36

Discipline Summary
Col – Brian Mullan (Reckless challenge) 66

Colorado Rapids – Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura (Omar Cummings 69), Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Danny Evans, Brian Mullan, Jeff Larentowicz, Pablo Mastroeni, Wells Thompson, Caleb Folan, Macoumba Kandji (Sanna Nyassi 39).

Substitutes not used: Steward Ceus, Mike Holody, Scott Palguta, Joseph Nane, Ross LaBauex.

Los Angeles Galaxy – Donovan Ricketts, Bryan Jordan, AJ DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin, David Beckham, Juninho (Michael Stephens 73), Landon Donovan, Chad Barrett (Robbie Keane 60), Paolo Cardozo (Mike Magee 67).

Substitutes not used: Josh Saunders, Frankie Hejduk, Jovan Kirovski, Miguel Lopez.

Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistants: Mike Rottersman, Anthony Vasoli.
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 69 degrees
Attendance: 20, 068
Time of match: 1:50

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RSL faces potential “six pointer” at Seattle

Posted on 10 September 2011 by kali

Real Salt Lake travels to Seattle on Saturday afternoon (2 pm MT, KMYU 2.2) for a match with tremendous implications for the Western Conference playoff race.

RSL currently sits in 4th place in the West with 42 points, while the Sounders are in 2nd place on 48 points, meaning that a win would put Salt Lake even on points with two games in hand on the Sounders.

On paper, it seems as though Seattle has a huge advantage, having gone unbeaten in its last four matches and scoring six goals in its last match, a 6-2 win over Columbus on August 27.  Moreover, the Sounders will literally have a home turf advantage at CenturyLink Field on an artificial surface to which Real has often found difficult to adjust.

On the other hand, RSL has plenty of motivation to get a result in Seattle despite a spate of injuries.  Not only has Salt Lake failed to score , let alone win, at CenturyLink in regular-season play, the Sounders snapped RSL’s 29-game MLS home unbeaten streak earlier this season at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Getting that result won’t be easy for Real, though.  Seattle stormed through the month of August, thanks in part to the play of midfielder Mauro Rosales and a strong supporting cast that includes youngster Lamar Neagle and defensive-minded Osvaldo Alonso.  Salt Lake will need to disrupt the Sounders’ rhythm in midfield and play strong team defense all over the pitch in order to win.

RSL coach Jason Kreis will not have international absences to deal with this week, but minor injuries to Fabian Espindola, Jean Alexandre, Will Johnson, Jamison Olave, Nick Rimando, and Alvaro Saborio will need to be managed, particularly on the artificial surface.

Defender Robbie Russell is listed as questionable due to back spasms, but is likely to start while Chris Wingert recovers from a fractured wrist and recent signing Blake Wagner continues to integrate into the team.  However, midfielder Ned Grabavoy and strikers Paulo Junior and Cody Arnoux have both returned to play after their injuries, giving Kreis some options for the bench.

Regardless, three points would be massive for Real as it seeks to capitalize on its own run of form, including back-to-back wins against Chivas USA and Philadelphia.

“We’ve gotten back to a good spot where we feel confident in what we’re doing,” said Johnson this week.  “We’ve got to take that confidence up there [Seattle].”

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Photo Gallery: RSL v Philadelphia Union

Posted on 05 September 2011 by juliana64

no images were found

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