Carson, CA – Mike Magee was disappointed in his own performance on Sunday afternoon as the LA Galaxy drew with the San Jose Earthquakes. “This is usually a game that doesn’t need much motivation to get us going. And for whatever reason it just wasn’t there…” He continued “I didn’t play well… i’m not going to say I let the team down, but I let myself down for sure.”
For the first 45 minutes on Sunday, the LA Galaxy struggled to get any of their offensive stars pointed toward goal. The trio of Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes and Giovani dos Santos never had room to operate or failed to capitalize on chances they did have. And Mike Magee was just one of the midfielders who struggled to cover against a determined San Jose midfield.
The night was full of missed opportunities. And it was Robbie Keane who missed the most clear-cut scoring chance in just the 10th minute of play. Robbie Rogers put in a good ball from the right side that found Keane wide open and behind San Jose’s Victor Bernardez. But the ball was headed down at a sharp angle and it bounced over the cross bar.
San Jose also missed some early chances as Chris Wondolowski stripped Steres on a bad trap and rocketed a shot over Rowe that pinged off the crossbar. Wondolowski also would miss a great opportunity in the dying moments of the 1st half. A ball was crossed over the entire LA Galaxy backline and Wondo trapped it, cut inside and from close range fired over the top of the bar.
The teams went into halftime tied at zeros. But momentum was clearly sitting with San Jose.
In the second half the LA Galaxy would come out with more energy. Although San Jose was able to get some early chances on target, it was LA who would apply almost constant pressure throughout the second frame.
Giovani Dos Santos was the first to bring the capacity crowd back into the game. A long ball played to Zardes was perfectly chested down into the path of Dos Santos and on the half-volley Dos Santos ripped his shot off the crossbar, clearly beating David Bingham.
The goal for the Galaxy finally came in the 83rd minute as substitute Sebastian Lletget raced down the right side and put in an early cross that looked to find Gyasi Zardes or Robbie Keane. But at the last second Marvel Wynne stuck his foot out and redirected it into the back of his own net.
This ball was very similar to a pass Lletget made against Portland that saw Portland’s Nat Borchers do the exact same thing – put the ball into the back of his own net. It was even from the same position on the field.
And with the LA Galaxy just minutes from their second clean sheet of the season, something they were focused on achieving, Chad Barrett sent in a cross that caught three LA Galaxy defenders staring at each other as Fatai Alashe calmly headed the ball past Brian Rowe.
The story gets more interesting in the fact that one of those defenders, Nigel De Jong, was supposed to be subbed off but Bruce Arena held the change due to the Galaxy defending a corner kick. It was Steven Gerrard, Nigel De Jong and Jelle Van Damme who all failed to cover the only ‘Quakes attacker in the box. It was the mental let down that has been preached against for weeks.
“Obviously [we] got caught on a corner kick. Lost our concentration a little bit and [Alashe] scored? He ran past three of our players. We… take the three points and get out of here.” Bruce Arena, LA Galaxy Head Coach
The LA Galaxy fell to 19-5-6 against San Jose at home all-time. It should be pointed out that San Jose has been in good form this year (5-3-4) and sits just below the LA Galaxy in the standings.
However, the LA Galaxy must now see three of their players off to National Team duty and a long road trip to Montreal that starts on Thursday for a Saturday game.
Robbie Keane (Ireland National Team) seemed to be leaving straight to the airport from the game, And Gyasi Zardes (US Men’s National Team) and Baggio Husidic (Serbian National Team) look to be headed out on Monday towards their respective teams.
It should be pointed out, that in a game that saw the return of Nigel De Jong, who was generally very good on the night, it was Robbie Rogers at right back that really played outstanding. Defensively he was very sharp and handled most of the San Jose front line, harassing all of them into turnovers. And offensively he was a solid creator, really combining well with Sebastian Lletget, Mike Magee’s replacement.
Brian Rowe also had an excellent night and so did Nigel De Jong who continues to be an outstanding addition to this team. It’s just unfortunate that another lapse in defending caused the LA Galaxy to lose out on valuable home points.
Magee was right to be disappointed. When asked if he thought this felt like a loss, Magee replied “For me, yeah. I didn’t play well. I thought I would.” I think most LA Galaxy fans would agree, they thought the team would’ve played better in a rivalry game.
The LA Galaxy are next in action on Saturday, May 28th at 5PM Pacific Time. The game can be found on TWC SportsNet or TWC Deportes.
LA – Marvell Wynne 83’ (Own goal)
SJ – Fatai Alashe 87’ (Assisted by Chad Barrett)
LA Galaxy: Brian Rowe; Robbie Rogers, Daniel Steres, Jelle Van Damme, Ashley Cole; Steven Gerrard, Nigel de Jong (Jeff Larentowicz 88’), Giovani dos Santos (Alan Gordon 90’), Mike Magee (Sebastian Lletget 65’); Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes
Substitutions not used: Dan Kennedy, AJ DeLaGarza, Baggio Husidic, Emmanuel Boateng.
San Jose Earthquakes: David Bingham; Kofi Sarkodie, Marvell Wynne, Victor Bernardez, Shaun Francis (Chad Barrett 84’); Alberto Quintero (Cordell Cato 77’), Fatai Alashe, Anibal Cesis Godoy, Matias Perez Garcia (Shea Salinas 59’); Simon Dawkins, Chris Wondolowski
Substitutions not used: Adam Jahn, Jordan Stewart, Bryan Meredith, Tommy Thompson