gay4CCL: Los Angeles blanks Puerto Rico, 4-0
Los Angeles Galaxy followed up last week’s CONCACAF Champion’s League 5-2 win over Isidro Matapan with another dominating performance on Wednesday night – this time, over the visiting Puerto Rico Islanders. The reigning MLS Champion’s 4-0 victory on Wednesday night is all the more impressive considering it was accomplished with the team’s reserves.
On a night that saw Robbie Keane serving a red card suspension, David Beckham recovering from illness and Landon Donovan from injury,and with the team schedule to play an important match this weekend versus Vancouver, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena opted to start his B squad.
Captained by veteran journeyman Pat Noonan, Wednesday’s Galaxy squad included up-and-comer (and major cutie) homegrown signing Jose Villarreal, 17-year-old Jack McBean, rookie defender (and gay4soccer’s own “hot” draft pick) Tommy Meyer, and Beckham’s protege, Micheal Stephens.
Galaxy started the game aggressively, with Stephens marshaling the midfield transition. It took 7 minutes for Galaxy to find the back of the net, with Tommy Meyer heading in a corner kick from the far post. The champs nearly doubled their lead a few minutes later and several more times in the first half, but it took until the early minutes of the second half before they could convert. Villarreal fought out two Islanders defenders and goalkeeper to slot home the second goal on the night. 20 minutes later, McBean fired home a deflection off of his own just-saved shot. Stephens received a slotting pass in the waning minutes and drilled it with conviction to finish the scoreline.
Puerto Rico looked ineffective up top for most of the night, with few quality chances to test Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Perk. Much of this credit belongs to a tight Galaxy backline – all reservists – whose communication and vision prevented Islanders’ speedy attackers from doing any damage.
In a match featuring reservists, a trio of Galaxy first-teamers did make brief appearances. Thought David Beckham was on the bench, it was Sean Franklin, Edson Buddle, and Marcelo Sarvas who saw some time to stretch their legs. Notably, this was Buddle’s first return to action after coming off of an extended recovery over a knee injury. The 2010 Golden Boot finalist looked to still be finding his rhythm for the brief period of his play.
gay4MotM: Micheal Stephens. The little general looked calm, confident and – surprisingly – bossy out on the field and his teammates responded. He looked to be a clean-shaven hybrid of Kyle Beckerman and Sacha Kljestan as he facilitated most of the attack while not hesitating to drop to regain possession and coordinate the build-up from the back.
LA Galaxy next play Vancouver Whitecaps this weekend.