Galaxy Broken by Rapids

Los Angeles' 3-game win streak is is snapped in loss
by Jamie Pham   |   Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Galaxy of Angels – column on Los Angeles Galaxy (LA Galaxy) & the LA soccer scene.

CARSON, Calif. – With 4 players out on international duty, Los Angeles Galaxy manager Bruce Arena had to turn to his reserves to fill in the void against the surging Colorado Rapids.

Backup goalkeeper Brian Rowe got his 3rd start of the season as Carlo Cudicini was nowhere to be seen and rookie Kofi Opare got the nod over Tommy Meyer at centerback.

There were no changes to the midfield so youngsters Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal were up top hoping to create some pressure Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane successfully had the last few games.

McBean had a chance to score early off of a header in the 2nd minute but was unlucky as the ball went straight to Colorado goalkeeper, Clint Irwin, who deflected it away.

Marcelo Sarvas also had a chance to score in the 34th minute as he took a shot on the right side that hit the bottom part of the top post and went out of bounds.

LA had few more scoring chances from Gyasi Zardes and Todd Dunivant but could not convert. Dunivant’s chipped the ball inside the box but went over the net and Zardes missed a header that went over the bar as well.

“We just didn't play well tonight, not well enough to win,” said Arena.

Former LA Galaxy striker Edson Buddle had the only goal of the game when he blasted the ball from outside the 18-yard box to the upper left corner of the goal as Rowe looked helplessly on.

Despite the goal by Buddle, the Galaxy did a great job defending against the Rapids and containing rookie sensations, Dillon Powers and Deshorn Brown.

Opare, who was a 2nd round draft pick out of Michigan, looked very strong filling in for US Men’s National Team member, Omar Gonzalez. Arena was obviously impressed by his performance against Costa Rica’s Cartigines in the CONCACAF Champions League to give him the start. He did a very good job holding down the back line and had a couple good challenges.

“We didn't give them many chances throughout the entire night, except the one play,” rightback AJ DeLaGarza said. “You look at that, it's a positive, I guess. On the other side of the ball, we didn't create any chances, so you've got to look at that, too.”

Strikers Villarreal and McBean struggled to get any offense going throughout the game and it led to Arena subbing McBean for Charlie Rugg in the 67th minute.

“Jack and Jose have been sort of coming on every once and awhile so it’s tough to get a rhythm with the first team when you’re not playing as much,” said Rowe. “But I mean in the end, when we had those opportunities whoever it is needs to step up and get something on target and test the goalie.”

An interesting fact is that Donovan, Keane and Gonzalez combined for 16 of the 17 goals that the Galaxy scored in all competitions in August. The only other goal came from Villarreal against Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup on Aug. 1. And the last time a non-designated player scored a goal in MLS was on July 20, when Zardes scored against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Arena didn’t hold back criticizing MLS’s scheduling during the international window.

“It's ridiculous we have to play these games in these windows,” he said. “We have such a congested schedule. I don't think we've played Colorado yet this year with our [full] team, which is ridiculous.”

The Galaxy are currently sitting in 3rd place in the Western Conference behind Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders with 7 games left in the regular season. It will be a tight race with 6 teams competing for the 4 playoff spots.

NEXT UP: September 15 – Los Angeles Galaxy vs. DC United, RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C. 5 p.m. EST, TWCSN, UniMas, and MLS Live.

Jamie PHAM

Pasadena City College
Club Domestic:
LA Galaxy
Club Foreign:
Former tour manager turned sports blogger, Jamie spends loads of time reviewing the Los Angeles sports scene and is a big MLS and USMNT supporter.