LA Galaxy Beat Revolution For Third Win In A Week
The last of those feats came Saturday night in Foxborough, Mass. as the Galaxy closed out its hectic week with a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
Miguel Lopez’s first career goal for Los Angeles, off of a David Beckham cross in the 69th minute, gave the Galaxy (8-5-2, 29 points) its third straight 1-0 victory. The win extended the LA's lead atop the MLS Western Conference to seven points.
"It's been difficult, and to manage to pull nine points out of three games is remarkable," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said after the victory. "It's all the credit to the players. They’ve been fabulous."
New England had several excellent looks at goal in a second-half stoppage time flurry, but two goal line clearances by A.J. DeLaGarza and Landon Donovan preserved the win for Los Angeles.
Playing in its final game before captain Landon Donovan (USA) and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts (Jamaica) leave the team to join their respective national squads for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the Galaxy outshot the Revolution 15-11 in what was a very even match.
"We had a really challenging week, playing against a team that was rested and waiting for us," Donovan said. "I thought our effort was great."
New England came out the sharper of the two sides, threatening early through Danish forward Rajko Lekic. Normally reliable Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza nearly gifted Lekic a goal on an ill-advised back pass to Ricketts in the 15th minute. Ricketts, though, charged off of his line and cleared the ball away before colliding with Lekic.
Beckham, who missed the Galaxy's Wednesday win in Houston to play in a testimonial match in England, announced his return to the team by bending in a dangerous corner kick in the 24th minute. Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez’s header was tipped onto the bar by Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis, and defender Todd Dunivant's follow up effort went over the frame.
Beckham ignited the offense again in the 42nd minute, when his cross was headed wide of the far post by an open Donovan.
The Galaxy grabbed the lead halfway through the second period. Beckham, who had picked up a yellow card two minutes earlier for a tackle from behind on Lekic, crossed the ball into the box from the right flank. Lopez, who was hovering around the penalty spot, just got enough of his head onto the ball to redirect it into the far corner of Reis’s net.
"I received the ball in a good position and I obviously put the ball in a good position," Beckham said. "[Lopez] made my ball a good one. I think we deserved it, overall. I think we had a lot of chances, so we’re happy."
Lopez continued to be the danger man in attack, firing a shot from the top of the box in the 76th minute that Reis dove to push wide of the post.
After several lengthy delays because of injuries to the Galaxy's Juninho and the Revolution’s Benny Feilhaber, New England nearly equalized in the 91st minute.
Ricketts came running off of his line to punch away a cross from defender Kevin Alston, but only cleared the ball to Revs substitute Zack Schilawski, who was faced with an open goal. DeLaGarza, though, made a twisting goal line clearance on Schilawski's shot.
New England midfielder Sainey Nyassi crossed the ball back into the box and Schilawski lunged and headed it off the crossbar. Revs captain Shalrie Joseph tried to bundle the ball over the line but Donovan’s overhead clearance finally removed the danger.
"I tried to get my head onto it, and I think they cleared it off the line," Joseph said about his late chance. "We were celebrating…but the third official said it didn't get in. We didn’t get that break that we needed tonight."
News and Notes
- The Galaxy have four straight wins. The team hasn't lost since May 1st, a six-match unbeaten streak.
- Galaxy midfielder Juninho came down awkwardly on his left ankle in the 81st minute. The 22-year-old Brazilian was taken off the pitch on a stretcher, but hobbled back into the game because Los Angeles had used all of its substitutions. No word yet on the severity of the injury.
Revs coach Stevie Nicol said Feilhaber "rolled" the ankle, but said it was too early to tell how serious the injury was.
- Beckham's assist was his league-leading seventh of the season.
- Beckham, a former Manchester United player, was asked after the game about his old team's loss Saturday against Barcelona in the Champions League final.
"Barcelona are such a great passing team and they're so talented," Beckham said. "I'm obviously disappointed as a Manchester United fan, but I think as a soccer fan, a lot of people probably enjoyed the game."
- The Galaxy will return home to take on D.C. United on Friday night at 8 p.m. D.C. United (3-3-4) sits in sixth place in the East on 12 points and is led by forward Charlie Davies, who has six goals on the season.
- Ricketts and Donovan will both miss at least the next two Galaxy games while on national team duty. If their respective squads qualify for the June 25th Gold Cup Final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, the players will miss a total of four club matches.
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