Carson, CA – Just when you thought the LA Galaxy couldn’t fall any further, they conceded a stoppage-time goal at home to toss points away in their latest StubHub Center embarrassment. The 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake moves the Galaxy into last place in the Western Conference 22 out of 22
Once you start to get more matches with guys, you know what they’re thinking and they know what you’re thinking. So as soon as I saw Jermaine get the ball, my first instinct was to make the run and I knew he likely was going to be playing that in, so I obviously had no hesitation when I’m getting inside the box, so I’m going to shoot.”And it really is a shame because the Galaxy put together one of their finest performances of the season. Even if that was against a 10-man Real Salt Lake team that refused to quit and had another standout performance by veteran goalkeeper Nick Rimando who had five saves on the night.
It was also a game that started quickly for the home team, as they rapidly put serious pressure on Real Salt Lake and put three shots on goal or off the post in the first 12 minutes. Romain Alessandrini did everything but score on the night and his 4th-minute shot beat Rimando and clattered off the crossbar somehow denying the Frenchman his 12th goal of the season.
But in the 14th-minute, Jermain Jones was able to hop on a loose ball in the center of the field and one-timed a pass in the general direction of Giovani dos Santos. Dos Santos ran past Real Salt Lake’s Marcelo Silva but was pulled down. Referee Rubiel Vazquez initially issued a yellow card to Silva but upon reviewing the play using the League’s Video Assistant Referee, found Silva fouled Giovani dos Santos in violation of the Denial of a Goal Scoring Opportunity or DOGSO law of the game. The call was changed to a red card and the Galaxy were granted a one-man advantage for over 72 minutes of the game.
They would capitalize on the advantage in the 40th-minute when Bradford Jamieson IV, making his tenth appearance in a row and his sixth start of the same span, got a perfect ball from Jones. Jamieson, running away from the goal when he received the pass, quickly shot towards the far post beating Rimando and giving the Galaxy the 1-0 advantage.
“Once you start to get more matches with guys, you know what they’re thinking and they know what you’re thinking,” Jamieson explained to reporters after the game. “So as soon as I saw Jermaine get the ball, my first instinct was to make the run and I knew he likely was going to be playing that in, so I obviously had no hesitation when I’m getting inside the box, so I’m going to shoot.”
Jamieson has now scored three goals on the season and ties Giovani dos Santos in scoring the same amount from the run of play. It was Jones’ third assist on the year.
The Galaxy would continue to press for the rest of the game. They generated several dangerous chances getting three of four breakaways on the night. But every time Rimando would make the save and keep the game close and Real Salt Lake would sprint down the field to press the Galaxy on the counter-attack.
Luis Silva would challenge the Galaxy in the 63rd-minute, only to have Clement Diop, who had one his better performances on the night, make the save. And it happened again in the 72nd-minute when Sebastian Saucedo put a shot on target only to have Diop save the day.
And while the Galaxy would press Real Salt Lake time and time again, with Emmanuel Boateng hitting the far post after getting behind the defense and Alessandrini and Jones both forcing saves from Rimando, they couldn’t score. They were never able to pull away from the visitors and were left hanging in a dangerous zone of dominating play but getting nothing for it.
So it came as no surprise, that deep within stoppage time, on an extremely questionable foul called by the referee about 22-yards from goal, that Real Salt Lake would find the equalizer.
Joao Plata lined up the free kick and hit it past the Galaxy’s four-man wall. Diop was able to make the save and pushed it wide and right but Real Salt Lake defender David Horst was able to jump on the ball and quickly pass it back to Kyle Beckerman. Beckerman roofed his shot over Diop and into the top of the net to secure the points for a playoff-bound Real Salt Lake.
Giovani dos Santos was late to cover Beckerman on the play and, if properly marking, could have prevented the shot. But it wasn’t in the cards for this Galaxy team.
It was just the latest of late-game collapses for the Galaxy who have now allowed 15 goals in the final 15-minutes of the game. They’ve also allowed 14 goals in the final 15-minutes of the first half.
“We were the better team,” Schmid said after the game. “We played some decent soccer. At times, guys were stepping up. Some guys are not stepping up. Those are things that are going on, but we also have to manage the game.
“I didn’t think it was a foul at the end of the game. I thought Romain [Alessandrini] was on the ball first. I thought [Joao] Plata kicked him and it wasn’t that Romain kicked him. I thought it was a horrendous call.
“But on the same token, we had two corners in the last seven minutes of the game and we’re trying to hit corners into the box and score the second goal instead of killing some time. If we could have killed some time, maybe the foul never happens and 15-30 seconds are gone.”
But game management or not, the Galaxy didn’t get the job done. And nothing is going to save this team from the fact they’ve failed to win from winning positions and they’ve failed to take advantage of their home-field advantage.
“Yes. Obviously we are frustrated. When you create a lot of chances like that you have to score. I’m frustrated because I had to score tonight.” Romain Alessandrini, LA Galaxy Midfielder
The 20,324 in attendance was loud and involved in the game. They didn’t deserve to have the result stolen from them when so little has been left to celebrate in Carson this year. But then again, why should anything be different? In a year that has been disappointing from the beginning, why change now?
The Galaxy won’t play another game until October 15, when they host Minnesota United in the second to last game of the year. It will be their final home game and chance to improve their 2-9-5 home record. And it’s their last reasonable chance to put some momentum under their feet before a very long offseason. And the last chance for players on the bubble to convince the Galaxy’s front office to keep them for next year.
“We play good soccer, but tonight we were unlucky,” Alessandrini confessed while shaking his head in disbelief. “We have to look forward, we have to keep our heads up and we have to work hard and maybe we can forget what happened in that last minute and be focused on what we have to do.”