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LA Galaxy beat Chivas USA 1-0 in SuperClásico

Jonathan Kendrick |
May 21, 2011 | 10:52 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer


Chad Barrett (left) celebrates his goal alongside teammate Juan Pablo Angel.
Chad Barrett (left) celebrates his goal alongside teammate Juan Pablo Angel.
On the back of a classic bend-it-like-Beckham free kick assist from the English international himself, the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated their city rivals Chivas USA 1-0 in the year’s first SuperClásico and extended their lead atop the Western Conference of Major League Soccer to six points.

Chad Barrett grabbed the early goal in the 26th minute, and the Galaxy defense made the score line stand up in the first of two MLS games this season between the co-tenants of the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

“It wasn’t the prettiest performance but we got the job done,” said Juan Pablo Angel, the Galaxy’s Colombian forward.

Although the Galaxy (6-2-5, 23 points) has dominated the overall series with the Goats, Chivas USA (3-4-3, 12 points) entered the match as one of the hottest clubs in MLS. The Red and White had won three of their previous four games entering Saturday.

Alejandro Moreno nearly gave the Goats the lead in the 22nd minute, when he beat Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez on a nice turn in the penalty box. A strong one-handed diving save from Los Angeles goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, though, kept the score level.

The Galaxy grabbed the lead four minutes later through Chad Barrett’s third goal of the season. The former UCLA forward shook free of his defender and redirected Beckham’s pinpoint free kick into the upper right corner of the net.

“He bent a perfect ball in and I actually thought I had jumped too early,” Barrett said about the goal. “But it just kind of dipped down onto my head.”

Beckham’s assist tied him for the MLS lead with six.

“I know that if I put it in the right area, we have a good chance of scoring,” Beckham said.

Barrett nearly scored a second goal in the 49th minute, when a beautiful through ball by Juninho left him one-on-one with Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. Barrett rounded the netminder but shot wide of the open net.

Juninho had a chance of his own ten minutes later, when he galloped down the center of the Chivas USA defense and fired just left of the goal from the top of the box.

Chivas USA nearly equalized in the 65th minute, but midfielder Ben Zemanski’s shot bounced off the left post and was cleared from danger by the Galaxy.

The Goats’ final scoring opportunity came in the 82nd minute, when the Red and White had several looks at goal in a scrum in front of the net before Ricketts punched the ball away to safety.

The Galaxy faithful had plenty to celebrate about tonight.
The Galaxy faithful had plenty to celebrate about tonight.
Galaxy captain and MLS goal-scoring leader Landon Donovan didn’t register a single shot, but he did help Los Angeles control the midfield for most of the match. Donovan also did yeoman’s work in tracking back to aid his team’s defenders, and was constantly harassing the Chivas USA midfielders in possession.

“I would have liked to have been more involved offensively,” Donovan said. “But if you have a night like that when things aren’t going perfectly, you have to make sure you do the defensive part and help your team win.”

The Galaxy defense was solid throughout the match, as the once much-maligned back line of Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza and Todd Dunivant continue to mature into one of MLS’s best defensive units.

“Our guys did a great job defensively,” Donovan said.

The victory for the Galaxy gives them a 13-3 lead (with five draws) in the overall series with their rivals. The next chapter in the SuperClásico series is set for October 16th.

News and Notes

  • Beckham confirmed that he will miss the Galaxy’s Wednesday match against the Houston Dynamo to travel to England and play in a testimonial match for his friend Gary Neville, who was the best man at his wedding. Neville and Beckham will suit up for Manchester United Tuesday against Juventus at Old Trafford in Manchester, England as a tribute to the retiring Neville. Beckham said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena “felt that it was the right thing to do” and that he likely would have been rested for the midweek match anyway.
  • The Galaxy announced Friday that they signed 22-year-old defender Kyle Davies to the club’s roster. Davies captained the United States under-20 national team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2009 but made only 14 appearances in 2+ seasons with FC Dallas, the team that waived him earlier this month.
  • Saturday night sightings at the Home Depot Center: Sacha Kljestan, the former Chivas USA star, and current midfielder for Anderlecht in Belgium dropped by to say hello to his old teammates. Ryan Babel, the Dutch striker formerly of Liverpool F.C. and now playing for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in Germany, dropped by the Galaxy locker room after the game to snap a photo with Beckham. Babel said he is on vacation for the summer in the United States.
  • The Galaxy return to action Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. PT against the Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center. The Dynamo sit in third place in the Eastern Conference on 14 points.
  • Next up for Chivas USA is a trip to Ohio to take on the Columbus Crew on Saturday at 4:30 p.m PT. The Goats will try to move up from 7th in the West against the Crew, who are fourth in the Eastern Conference.
Reach Jonathan by email.



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