Galaxy routes Seattle 4-0, Keane scores hat trick, Rodgers debuts

May 27, 2013

Carson City, California- Home Depot Center, May 26, 2013, (Photos: Samuel Coronado)

The game between LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders was setting up to be a good one. LA had been struggling as of late, losing 3 of their last 4 games. Seattle was beginning to get into form winning their previous games by a hefty margin. This was going to be a good test to see how LA was playing. This game was also going to be special for a different reason. Earlier that week, LA Galaxy had traded Mike Magee to the Chicago Fire for the rights to sign Robbie Rodgers. Rodgers was going to be the first openly gay player to play in a professional team in the United States.

The game began with LA Galaxy coming out very aggressive looking to score early in the game. They were attacking from the wing with Greg Cochrane sending crossing into the box. Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Keane had scoring chances but none of them were a clear chance. Galaxy’s first goal came in the 12th minute of the game. Galaxy was awarded a corner kick from the left side. Landon Donovan took the corner and centered it. It was cleared from the box but Cochrane was able to recover the ball. He passed it to Keane who took a quick step forward and passed it to Marcelo Sarvas. Sarvas passed it back to Keane who crossed the ball into the middle of the box where Sean Franklin was able to just tap the ball in and score the first goal of the match.
After the goal, Galaxy didn’t let up their aggressive play. Their aggressive play was rewarded again in the 24th minute. They were awarded a corner from the left side. Donovan passed it short to Michael Stephens. He passed it back to Donovan who swung a corner into the box. The ball bounced off the side of a jumping Omar Gonzalez and went straight to a waiting Keane who struck the ball with his right foot. The ball had a clear path towards goal and Keane scored the second goal of the game.

LA Galaxy never let up in the first half. They continued their aggressive play throughout the half always looking for a chance to score more goals. Given their resent struggles to hold leads late in the game and Seattle’s scoring power, LA knew that they couldn’t stop attacking. LA Galaxy scored their third goal of the game in the 32nd minute of the game and this time it came in the form of a penalty. Seattle dropped Zardes inside the box and the referee awarded Galaxy a penalty. Keane was giving the responsibility of taking the penalty shot. Before Keane, Donovan was the man to shot the penalties but after some resent struggles; Coach Bruce Arena decided to give Keane that job. Keane lined up and right before he shot, he hesitated, then shot low and to the left. Seattle Sounders goalkeeper, Michael Gspurning, guessed correctly and blocked the penalty shot. This seemed like the perfect play to get Seattle going but the referee awarded Galaxy a re-kick. Gspurning moved early and a Seattle player crossed the box before Keane shot the ball, and FIFA rules state that the referee must make the team retake the penalty. The second time around, Keane didn’t miss. He shot low and to the right and scored the third goal of the game.

Galaxy had complete control of the first half. They did whatever they wanted to. They were carving Seattle’s defense and creating opportunities left and right. In the 43rd minute of the game, Galaxy scored their fourth goal of the game. Zardes had the ball on the left flank and ran towards goal. As he crossed the box, he centered the ball to Juninho. He was about to shot but Seattle defender, Brad Evans, slide and dropped Juninho inside the box. The referee awarded Galaxy their second penalty of the half. Keane had the honors again, and scored. This time, he shot low and to the left. At the end of the half, LA Galaxy had a comfortable 4-0 lead over Seattle Sounders

Galaxy didn’t come out as aggressive in the second half. LA didn’t come out defending, but they weren’t playing aggressive. They were taking their time looking for openings in Seattles formation, probing left and then probing right. Donovan had a scoring opportunity but Gspurning blocked the shot. Later on in the half, Franklin almost scored his second goal of the match, but he headed the ball just above the cross bar.

In the 77th minute of the game, LA Galaxy made history. It is rare that a team can make history with a substitution, but LA Galaxy did that. They took out Juninho but more importantly, they substituted Robbie Rodgers in. Rodgers became the first openly gay player to play in a professional sport league. As he jogged into the field, the crowd stood up and cheered him on. He almost scored a goal, but his shot hit the post and dinged out.

Galaxy not only won the game 4-0, but played one of their best games of the year. They dominated Seattle throughout the game. They only allowed Seattle to shot twice and none of them were on goal. Galaxy shot 15 times and most of the shots were on goal. Coach Arena said that they finally got a result they deserved. Galaxy needed this win. Especially after losing three of their last four matches.

They travel east and face the Carolina Railhawks in their first U.S. Open Cup game. Last year, LA Galaxy lost to the Railhawks and were eliminated from the U.S Open Cup. They will face them Wednesday and then travel to face New England Revolution in Boston on Sunday.

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Chivas USA thoroughly gets outplayed, losing 4-1 to Real Salt Lake

May 20, 2013

Carson City, California- Home Depot Center, May 19, 2013, (Photos: Victor Posadas)

Chivas USA finally had a home match after two straight away matches. They wanted to take advantage of being on their home field because they had lost their last two matches. The game didn’t start the way they had planned it because they allowed Real Salt Lake to score an early goal. In the fourth minute of play, Real Salt Lake’s Javier Morales had the ball at the top of the box. He tried shooting towards goal but the ball hit the side of his leg. The ball rolled towards Ned Grabavoy. Bobby Burling tried reaching out his leg far enough to stop the ball but couldn’t and Grabavoy had a one v. one against Dan Kennedy. He ran straight at Kennedy and shot the ball low and to the left. Kennedy couldn’t do anything to block it and the goal gave Real Salt Lake a one-nil led.

It took Chivas USA 15 minutes to finally get things going after the goal. They had a corner kick in the 19th minute of the game. They ran a set piece in which the player taking the corner kick passed the ball to the outside of the box instead of crossing it towards the box. A Chivas USA player got the pass and kicked towards goal. The ball was hit a tad bit high and hit the crossbar. After that shot, both teams couldn’t really find any open space to try to create anything. The half ended 1-nil.

Sadly for Chivas USA, the second half did not start any better than the first. It actually started worse because they allowed a goal just three minutes into the second half. Martin Ponce tried kicking the ball away from danger but the ball hit Kyle Beckerman on the face. The ball deflected off his face and headed towards the direction of three players, two being from Chivas USA and one from Real Salt Lake. Joao Plata from Real Salt Lake outraced and beat both Chivas USA defenders to the ball. He ran towards goal, shot, and scored the second goal of the game.

This time Chivas USA responded with a goal of their own in the 55th minute. Gabriel Farfan received a pass from Eric Avila. Farfan then passed it to Edgar Mejia who was on the right flank. He faked the defender covering him. By doing this, Mejia opened up enough space to send a cross towards the far post where Jorge Villafaña headed it and scored Chivas USA’s first goal of the game. The score was 2-1 in favor of Real Salt Lake.

In the 78th minute Real Salt Lake scored their third goal of the game. This goal came off a corner kick. The player taking the corner kick passed it to a Real Salt Lake player who crossed the ball to where Robbie Findley was at. He shot the ball and scored giving Real Salt Lake a two goal advantage again.

Then Real Salt Lake added insult to injury scoring their fourth goal in the 90th minute of the game. Khari Stephenson passed the ball to Grabavoy. He recived the pass and ran towards Kennedy. Grabavoy shot the ball between Kennedy’s legs and scored the fourth goal for Real Salt Lake and his second goal of the match.

Chivas USA lost for the third straight game. In this three game losing streak they have allowed 11 goals while only scoring once. After the game, Chivas USA coach Chelis was asked how can the team fix all the problems that they have showed in this losing streak. He said, “We can’t fix this. This is all we have. The players are giving everything they have and I am very proud of what they have done.” He was then asked why Chivas USA looks completely different than they looked at the beginning of the season when they had success. He answered the question by saying, “The players that we had at the beginning of the season are not the same players we have now.”

Chivas USA will face Colorado Rapids in Colorado on May 25.

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Houston Dynamo enacts their revenge, beat Galaxy 1-0

May 5, 2013

Carson City, California- Home Depot Center, May 5, 2013, (Photos: Victor Posadas)

When the soccer schedule came out for this year’s MLS fixtures, many people circled the game between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo. That game would be a much anticipated matchup between last year’s MLS Cup final participants and they were going to play on the same field they battled for the cup, The Home Depot Center.

The game started like many thought it would, with both teams looking to attack and try to take an early lead. Houston Dynamo almost took that early lead when they connected on a corner kick, but Carlos Cudicini was there to block the ball that was headed at point blank range. Cudicini reacted fast enough and even though the ball was headed to where he was standing, it could have still squirted through. Galaxy had some chances with crosses toward Charlie Rugg but they were either too high or Tally Hall was there to block it. In the 23rd minute, Huston committed a foul inside the penalty box that resulted in a penalty kick for Galaxy. Jose Villarreal received a through ball and ran towards goal, but Hall slide feet first and dropped Villarreal resulting in a penalty kick. Everyone in the stadium knew Landon Donovan was going to take the penalty kick and everyone thought he was going to make it. The only problem was that last time Donovan took one, he missed. Donovan set up and shot low and to the right but Hall guessed correctly and was able to block the ball. The score stayed 0-0.

As the first half wore on, Dynamo seemed to move their lines forward and became more aggressive. They would bring in more players on their attacks and seemed into dangerous spaces but Cudicini and the Galaxy defense was there to block and stop each Dynamo attack.

The second half was different than the first half of the game. Galaxy dominated the first half but the second half belonged to Houston Dynamo. Galaxy came out flat, and Houston took advantage of that. They were aggressive and started to control the midfield. They were getting second chance opportunities because Galaxy couldn’t clear the ball out of their zone. Houston was able to get the game winning goal in the 56th minute of play. Bobby Boswell gave a long pass to Giles Barnes who ran up the left flank. He spun around and crossed the ball towards the middle of the box. The ball went towards Andrew Driver who kicked it on goal and scored. Cudicini dove to block the ball but the ball went under his glove. This gave Houston Dynamo and 1-0 lead. They held that lead till the end of the game and was able to walk away from the Home Depot Center with a victory.

Galaxy’s next opponent is the Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 11 in Vancouver.

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Chivas USA gain one point in a very physical game

Apr 28, 2013

Carson City, California- Home Depot Center, April 27, 2013 (Photos: Victor Posadas)

The game between Chivas USA and San Jose Earthquake was Chivas USA’s second game of a very tough stretch they were on. The previous week they played against Real Salt Lake where they suffered a loss to. The next week they were going to play Sporting Kansas City. They knew they had to get good results in these next two games to show they were legitimate contenders in the MLS. Chivas USA began the game playing very sloppy. They had been playing like this the past few games. Their passing was not crisp, their movement was uncoordinated, and they weren’t communicating. San Jose on the other had came out playing very aggressive. They knew they could pressure Chivas USA and create mistakes because Chivas USA had showed that that tactic would work on them.
San Jose’s first scoring opportunity came after a mistake from Chivas USA’s defense. A Chivas USA defender had the ball and tried to pass it back to the goalie, Dan Kennedy. The pass wasn’t strong enough to reach Kennedy, so he was forced to run towards the ball. As Kennedy was running towards the ball, San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart also ran towards the ball. They reached it first and shot towards goal but Kennedy was close enough to take away any shooting angle. Then in the 12th minute of the game, San Jose created their first scoring opportunity. They had the ball on the left flank. They crossed the ball towards Wondolowski who passed the ball to Lenhart received the ball and shot on goal but Kennedy was there to save it.

For the rest of the half there was not real attacking from any team. Most of the game was being played in the midfield with both teams not only fighting for the ball but also for attacking position. Then in the 40th minute of play, San Jose was able to score a goal. The goal came after Joaquin Velazquez fouled Lenhart. Shea Salinas took the free kick and he crossed the ball towards the center of the box. Wondolowski was there to receive it and shot the ball towards the far post and was able to beat a diving Kennedy to score the first goal of the game.

The half ended in a controversial call. Chivas USA had the ball and were running towards the box. They passed the ball to Tristan Bowen. He received the ball and went by one defender. The defender seemed to push Bowen from behind and Bowen fell. The referee did not see it that way. He thought Bowen dove and gave Bowen a yellow for diving.

Chivas USA didn’t let that call affect them in the second half. They began the second half with the equalizing goal. After San Jose cleared a free kick cross, Chivas USA regained the ball. They ran towards the edge of the box and shot on goal. The ball was deflected but Mario de Luna was there to kick the ball with his right foot and score the goal in the 47th minute.

Then in the 51st minute Chivas USA scored the go-ahead-goal. Erick Avila had the ball on the left flank and centered a low cross towards the middle of the box. A Chivas USA forward slid to kick the ball on goal but missed. Right behind him, Bowen was there to kick a left footed shot on goal and scored the second goal of the game. Bowen was able to get some “revenge” after receiving a yellow for an apparent dive. He gave Chivas USA the lead in a much contested game.

After the goal, the game began heating up psychically. Both teams began hitting each other a lot more than the norm. A lot of the hits were borderline legal. Not only was it heating up psychically, both teams began finding an offensive rhythm, especially San Jose. They had many scoring opportunities and a few of them were blocked right on goal line. For many of the blocks, it seemed that Chivas USA had lady luck on their side because San Jose was missing a lot of open looks.

Their luck ran out in the 77th minute of the match. Salinas ran up the right flank and crossed the ball towards the middle of the box. As the ball was arriving, Cordell Cato cut across the box and kicked the ball with his left foot into the net. All Kennedy could do was stand there and watch as San Jose tied the game 2-2.
The game ended with a 2-2 tie. Chivas USA put up a great fight which their coach, “Chelis” was very happy about. He was happy that his team fought hard and worked throughout the 90 minutes. The players didn’t repeat the same sentiments that “Chelis” had. They were happy that they came away with one point but in reality, they wanted to win and get three points out of it.

Their next game is away against Sporting Kansas City, May 5 at Kansas City.

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Galaxy beats Sporting Kansas City 2-0 with an excellent performance by Landon Donovan

Apr 21, 2013

Carson City, California- Home Depot Center, April 20, 2013 (Photos: Victor Posadas)

The Los Angeles Galaxy’s game versus Sporting Kansas City was set up to be one of the best games this fixture. It was going to be Landon Donovan’s first game at home this MLS season. The Galaxy was going against one of the best defensive team in the MLS. It was also a game that featured what many people thought is going to be Donovan’s replacement in the national team, Graham Zusi. They were also trying to rebound after a few difficult weeks that saw them eliminated from the CONCACAF championship and a loss at FC Dallas. Then the unthinkable happened early this week. There were two bombings in Boston that caused the whole nation to stand still for a day. Former Galaxy goalkeeper Matt Reis’ father-in-law was injured in the blast and Galaxy felt the pain as if it was one of their own. Not only Galaxy but the entire league felt the pain that Reis like many others felt. But this is when sports are most important. It is not to see who the best team is or to make sure you beat your opponent. Sports are most important to unite a country and bring a time of happiness and relief after such a terrible tragedy.

 

The game began in front of a sell-out crowd and from the very beginning people knew it was going to be a great game. Both teams began the game testing each other physically. They were playing each other hard, with many hits and knocks for both teams. Galaxy was trying to get passed a rock solid Kansas City defense that had only allowed three shot on goal this entire season. For the first 15 minutes, Galaxy couldn’t find any good spacing in the attacking third of the pitch but that wasn’t the case for Sporting Kansas City. With the help of a few Galaxy errors, Sporting Kansas City had a few decent scoring opportunities but Galaxy’s goalkeeper, Carlos Cudicini came up big with a few saves to keep the game level at nil. Galaxy was finally able to create something offensively in the 17th minute of the game. Kansas City was attacking but Omar Gonzalez was not only able to stop the attack but steal the ball and pass it to Donovan. He then passed it to Robbie Keane who quickly flipped the ball towards Jack McBean. McBean ran towards goal, cut twice to open up a shooting lane and shot on goal but Jimmy Nielsen, goalkeeper from the Sporting Kansas City, was able to save the shot. Galaxy seemed to gain momentum but just three minutes later they committed a foul just outside the penalty box. Kansas City had a free kick in a very dangerous spot. K.C. player shot directly on goal, Cudicini jumped to block it, but was not able to reach it. Luckily for the Galaxy, the crossbar was there to stop the ball from going into the net and the game stayed 0-0.

Galaxy was finally able to break the tie with a goal in the 27th minute. The play started when Gonzalez cleared the ball towards the middle of the field. The closest players around the ball were Marcelo Sarvas and a Kansas City midfielder. Both sprinted towards the ball and the Kansas City midfielder was not going to beat Sarvas so he slid to try to take the ball away. The Kansas City midfielder hit the ball first but it bounced up and towards Sarvas who kept the ball and passed it towards Donovan. Donovan ran towards goal and crossed the ball towards a cutting Sarvas who just tapped the ball in giving Los Angeles a 1-0 lead. The half continued with Galaxy having all the momentum and the ball but couldn’t finish any other opportunity to score another goal. The half ended with Galaxy up one-nil.

The second half started much differently than how the first half ended. Sporting Kansas City had more possession of the ball in the first 15 minutes of the game. They slowed the game down which also seem to benefit them. The only problem was that they were not creating any scoring opportunities. Galaxy seemed more dangerous playing the counter-attack.

Galaxy showed how dangerous they were in the counter attack. Sporting Kansas City had a corner kick but couldn’t capitalize on it. Galaxy was able to clear the ball out to the open space. Keane was there to receive the ball and he sprinted towards goal with a defender hot on his heels. He started running towards one side of the goal making the goalkeeper come out of his line and try to stop Keane from advancing any more. As soon as Keane saw that, he smartly crossed the ball towards Donovan who was running behind the play. He received it, shot, and scored his first goal of this MLS season giving Galaxy a two-nil lead.

The game ended with Galaxy winning two-nil. It was a great overall game. Donovan said after the game that the team finally played a complete 90 minutes of soccer. Recently, they have had mental lapses especially defensively in the final minutes of the game that had cost them the win against Monterrey and the tie against FC Dallas. This time, L.A.’s defense played well the entire game. When Donovan was asked about how he felt physically, he said he feels great. He doesn’t have to think as much as he did the past few games. This is great news for the Galaxy especially since Donovan had one goal and one assist this game. With this win, Galaxy jumps into second place in the western conference standings.

The next game is against Real Salt Lake April 27 at Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Missed penalty = No points

Apr 13, 2013

Carson City, California- Home Depot Center, April 13, 2013 (Photos: Victor Posadas)

Coming back from their bye week, Chivas USA was ready to go against the Colorado Rapids. In the resent fixtures, Chivas USA had impressed everyone around the league not only with their style of play. They were in second place in the Western Conference and fourth place overall. The game did not start the way they had wanted. In the third minute of play, Edson Buddle was able to get off a clean header at goal but Dan Kennedy was there to make the first save. Two minutes later, Chivas USA committed a penalty. The play started when Colorado Rapids player, Dillon Powers, passed the ball to Deshorn Brown. He received the ball but was taken down from behind by Eric Avila. The referee awarded Colorado a penalty kick. Brown took the penalty kick himself and scored. This gave Colorado a 1-0 lead.

Chivas USA didn’t seem stunned by the penalty but they just couldn’t create any offensive plays. They kept passing the ball side to side trying to find spaces in the Rapids’ defence but they couldn’t find any. They were finally able to find space in the 19th minute of the game. Carlos Alvarez had the ball after receiving a chip pass from Avila. He then passed it back to Avila whom then crossed the ball towards Jorge Villafaña. He received the ball and decided to cross the ball but no one was there to receive the pass. It seemed like a better idea was to shot on goal but he decided to pass and that ended any sense of danger that Chivas USA created from that play. After that Colorado again stonewalled any attack Chivas USA seem to create. Chivas kept on probing and probing but just couldn’t find any space to try to do something. Then in the 33rd minute, they almost created a chance on goal. Atiba Harris had the ball in his defensive side of the field. Villafaña went to pressure him and took the ball away. He ran towards the box with Harris behind him trying to disrupt his run. Villafaña fell in the box and the referee called a dive and gave Villafaña a yellow. Depending on how you saw the play, it could have gone either way. It did seem though, that Harris was hitting Villafaña’s legs before he fell.

Three minutes later, Colorado gave up a penalty to Chivas USA. Chivas USA crossed the ball towards the middle of the box. Jose Correa tried jumping for the ball but Shane O’Neill dropped Correa. Right after Correa fell; Chris Klute went straight into Tristan Bowen and dropped him also. The referee awarded Chivas USA a penalty kick. Correa decided to take the penalty himself. As he ran towards the ball, he hesitated to try to confuse the goalie but once he kicked the ball, it sailed and smashed the cross bar. Chivas USA missed the penalty and the score stayed 1-0 in favor of Colorado Rapids.

The second half started a lot better of Chivas USA. They began to play a lot more aggressive since they were able to control more of the ball. Their first opportunity of the second half came in the 58th minute of play. Avila had the ball and was being pressed by a Colorado defender. Avila was then able to get by him and center the ball towards Laurent Courtois. Courtois controlled the ball with his chest, turned and shot on goal. The ball sailed high but Chivas USA now seemed more confident in their attack.
After that, Chivas USA couldn’t find any spacing. Colorado started to play a lot more defensive. They had 11 men behind the ball and Chivas USA just couldn’t find any openings. As the time ticked on, they began to rely on the long ball which did not seem to work. In the first half, they played a lot of shot passes that did create a lot more space. In the second half, they tried getting ahead with the long pass because there was no space to do those short passes. The game finished and snapped Chivas USA’s four game winning streak.

After the game, “Chelis” said, “We had four straight wins and we were playing too cute out there. That is why we lost.” He then said, “We didn’t play well. We were not dignified athletes today. We did things that don’t correspond to this team like missing a penalty. This team can miss opportunities like that.” The team seemed to echo that same thought. They knew that they didn’t come out with the same effort they normally did. Even after the loss, Chivas USA is still in second place in the Western Conference Standings.

Their next game is against Real Salt Lake at Salt Lake City, Utah on April 20th.

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Monterrey surprises Galaxy with a 2-1 win

Apr 3, 2013

Carson City, California- Home Depot Center, April 3, 2013 (Photos: Victor Posadas)

The first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals began at the Home Depot Center where the Los Angeles Galaxy hosted Los Rayados de Monterrey. There was excitement both on the pitch and in the stands. The energy the supporters of both teams was palpable and everyone had a feeling that they were going to watch a great game between to superpowers from their respective league. The game began and Galaxy began to try to assert their dominance and take advantage of their home field. They were playing aggressively looking for any opportunity to open the score in their favor. Their first chance came in the 17th minute of the game. A.J. DeLaGarza passed the ball Robbie Keane. Keane then passed the ball to Mike Magee who shot the ball to the far post but Juan De Dios Ibarra, Monterrey’s goalkeeper, was there in time to dive and save the ball from going in.

L.A. Galaxy continued to be aggressive and attack to try to score. This paid off in the 33rd minute of play when they were able to open up the scoreboard. Keane had the ball and he crossed the ball. Magee received it and passed the ball to where DeLaGarza was able to hit the ball with the outside of his foot and score. This goal gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead.

Monterrey didn’t seem affected by the goal because they created their first opportunity to score in the 30th minute when after a failed corner kick, a Monterrey player received the ball at the corner of the box and shot across goal but missed wide. Minutes ticked on and Galaxy still had dominance of the game. Their second goal of the game almost came in the 42nd minute when Keane received a pass from Magee. Keane then floated the ball towards Sean Franklin where he tried kicking it but hit the ball over the crossbar.

The second half began just like the first half ended, with Galaxy dominating the game. In the 48th minute, Galaxy had a corner but it went straight toward the goalie. He tries hitting it out but the ball went straight towards a waiting Jose Villarreal. He shot towards goal but it went straight towards the goalie. After this play, Monterrey began to assert themselves. Their first substitution, Cesar “Chelito” Delgado, began to connect with his teammates and this only made Monterrey dangerous. They began to put pressure on Galaxy’s defense and forced L.A. to back their lines. In the 52nd minute, Monterrey had on of their more dangerous shot on goal. Delgado had the ball and passed it to Humberto “Chupete” Suazo. He had an open shot on goal but Carlos Cudicini was there to make the save with his legs.

Landon Donovan was subbed in, in the 60th minute of the game and this seemed to energize the Galaxy. Both teams began creating dangerous plays but none could score. Then in the 82nd minute Monterrey was able to tie the match. “Chelito” Delgado whom was being covered by Michel Stephens. “Chelito” cut Stephens twice and was able to cross the ball towards Aldo de Nigris. De Nigirs headed the ball but Cudicini was able to block the ball. The ball went around the small box and L.A. couldn’t kick the ball away from danger and allowed “Chupete” to kick the ball on goal. Cudicini blocked the ball again but “Chupete” followed his shot and was able to kick in the blocked shot giving Monterrey their first goal. “Chupete” Suazo’s goal tied the game 1-1.

Right before the game finished, Monterrey was able to score another goal. Jose Basanta passed the ball towards De Nigris. De Nigris covered the ball from Omar Gonzalez, controlled the ball with his thigh, and shot towards goal. Cudicini wasn’t able to block the shot and the ball ended in the back of the net giving Monterrey a 2-1 win over the Galaxy. This goal was the culmination of Monterrey’s pure domination of the last ten minutes of the game.

Galaxy had multiple chances to put the game away but were unable to do so and allowed Monterrey to win the game. The last 15 minutes of the game, Galaxy’s defence seemed tired and were out of position which allowed Monterrey to score their two goals. They will face Monterrey for the second leg of the semi-finals. The game will be played in Monterrey April 10th.

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Chivas USA holds off Vancouver for their 3rd win

Mar 31, 2013

Carson City, California- Home Depot Center, March 30, 2013 (Photos: Victor Posadas)

Chivas USA started playing the game fans have become accustomed to. They pressed the opposing team often and quickly. As soon as Vancouver had the ball, there was a Chivas USA player on him. Chivas USA did not allow any shots on goal until the 22nd minute of play. Just like they were playing defence, Chivas USA was playing aggressively on the offensive side of the ball. They were probing the Vancouver Whitecaps’ defence looking for a weak spot to exploit and score a goal. They were shooting towards goal whenever they had the open shot.

This aggressive play by Chivas USA paid off in the 12th minute of play. After some tussling for the ball, Chivas USA’s Carlos Alvarez, ended up with the ball on the left corner of the box. He turned to shoot what could be called a probing shot but it hit Jun Marques Davidson on the arm and redirected the ball towards goal. The ball passed by the outstretched arm of Vancouver Whitecaps’ goalkeeper, Joe Cannon and went into the net giving Chivas USA a 1 to nil lead. The goal was later ruled as an own goal.

After the goal, Vancouver seemed to wake up offensively and started to create more opportunities at goal. They began to shot more at goal but they lacked the precision to make the ball go into the back of the net. One opportunity they had was when Alain Rochat shot on goal but Dan Kennedy was able to block it. He wasn’t able to corral the ball and Daigo Kobayashi was able to shoot but he shot it towards the stands. Even though they were creating more opportunities, they were not very dangerous. As the half began to finish, both teams stopped creating any real opportunities. Most of the game was being played in the middle of the field.

Chivas USA again looked more dangerous at the start of the second half. They almost had a goal when a player sent a low cross towards the middle of the box but the shot was just outside the goalpost. In the 55th minute of the game, Jorge Villafaña crossed the ball to the far post where Eric Avila was waiting for the cross. He hit a volley shoot towards goal and beat the goalie for the second goal of the game. He gave Chivas USA a 2 to nil lead.

In the 64th minute of the game Vancouver Whitecaps was finally able to get on the board. Darren Mattocks was able to shot towards goal but Kennedy was there to block the ball. The only problem was that he didn’t hold on to the ball and pushed the ball to where Kenny Miller was waiting for a deflection. Miller headed the ball towards an empty net and scored the first goal of the game for Vancouver cutting the lead in half. The score was 2-1 in favor of Chivas USA.

As the time continued to tick away, Vancouver began to attack more knowing they were closer to get a tie. They had some decent opportunities but the Chivas USA defense would not break. Another opportunity came in the 80th minute when Mattocks was able to get behind the defense and chip a shot over Kennedy but the ball had too much air and went over the crossbar. In the 90th minute of the game, Kekuta Menneh of the Vancouver Whitecaps was able to outrun the entire Chivas USA defense and have a 1 v.1 against Kennedy. Kennedy came out and met him just outside the box and we able to disrupt Menneh run and Menneh kicked the ball out of bounds.

The referee blew the final whistle and Chivas USA was able to win their third game of the season. They have continued to play the way their head coach likes, hard. Now they have a record of 3-1-1 and are second in the Western Conference Standings. With these two goals, Chivas USA is still leading the league in total goals with 10.Last season, through the first 5 games, Chivas USA had only scored two goals and they came in the fifth game of the season. This season, Chivas USA seem to score at will. That is something that Chivas USA didn’t have last year, goals. Their next opponent will be the Colorado Rapids on April 13th at home.

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Galaxy Wins After “Dirty” Play

Mar 24, 2013

March 24,2013 Home Depot Center

The Los Angeles Galaxy faced the Colorado Rapids in their third game kid the MLS season 2013. For the first part of the firs half neither teams could create any decent opportunities at goal. The clearest goal opportunity came in the 10th minute of play. Marcelo Sarvas stole the ball from an unsuspecting Colorado defender and gave Jack McBean a pass. McBean received it, turned around, and shot towards goal but Clinton Irwin, the Colorado Rapids goalkeeper, was able to stick out his hand and block the shot. Galaxy had more possession of the ball but they couldn’t create any real danger in the final third of the pitch.

In the 32st minute of the game, Galaxy created another dangerous opportunity. They had given up a corner kick to Colorado but they were able to defend it. A.J. DeLaGarza was then able to give Jose Villarreal a long pass to start the counter-attack. Villarreal chased the ball down but was only able to chip it over the goalkeeper. The ball went over him and towards goal. It was about to cross the goal line but Diego Calderon was able to catch up and kick the ball away, crashing into the pole and injuring himself in the process.

As the minutes ticked on in the first half, LA was able to assert themselves more and more into the attacking third. They began to gain more confidence and began pushing forward with Todd Dunivant and Franklin. They would both send dangerous crosses towards the box but the players receiving the cross couldn’t finish the play with a goal.

Red on 48th minute. Hit Sarvas. Captain. This red card send off occurred in the box and the referee awarded LA Galaxy a penalty. Mike Magee didn’t hesitate to be the one responsible to take the penalty kick. He shot and and scored his fourth goal of the season giving LA a one – nil lead.

Even after scoring the goal, LA Galaxy didn’t relieve the pressure on Colorado’s midfield and defense. Galaxy still had more possession of the ball and better scoring opportunities but just as in the first half, they couldn’t finish the play with a goal. Their best scoring opportunity came in the 85th minute of play. Magee had the ball and passed it to Hector Jimenez who cut in towards the box. He made some defenders missed and passed a through ball to McBean whom tried to kick on goal but Irwin was there to record another save.

The Los Angles Galaxy were able to win the game despite missing two key players: Omar Gonzalez and Robbie Keane. Their defense played solidly, giving up only 5 attempts on goal with only 3 on target. Leonardo was able to not only step in but play very well. Bruce Arena commentated on how well Leonardo has been playing very well. He said, “He’s playing very well. His comeback from serious injuries have been remarkable and he’s jumping very well. His speed is coming back. We’re very a pleased with Leo. ” Even with the absence of Keane, the Los Angeles Galaxy attempted 21 shots on goal. Galaxy two young forwards, Villarreal and McBean, were able together shots on target and create scoring opportunities. Arena said, “They played well. Each could have had a goal.”

Galaxy plays Toronto F.C. In Toronto on March 30.

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