The LA Galaxy fell 2-1 to the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night at Stanford Stadium, in Stanford, CA. It became the tale of two Clasicos, as the LA Galaxy had won 4-2 in San Jose just one month prior, but a depleted roster, referee frustrations and a late goal by Shea Salinas were just too much for LA to overcome this time around.
The Galaxy continued to struggle through their depleted lineup woes with both Romain Alessandrini and Ashley Cole being out due to “minor injuries,” according to the club. Add those two players to the eight other players on the injured list, as well as Gyasi Zardes and Giovanni Dos Santos out on international duty, and head coach Curt Onalfo was missing twelve potential players for this match.
Onalfo had only five players to choose from on the bench, including defender Josh Turnley, a Galaxy II player who is on a short-term loan to the first team. Of the starters, the LA Galaxy tied an MLS league record of five Homegrown Players in the starting lineup.
Defender Jelle Van Damme opened the scoring early by finishing a great set-piece cross from Jose Villarreal in the 11th minute. Both teams worked to find their rhythm for the remainder of the first half, with no real scoring opportunities for either team.
San Jose held the majority for of the pressure for the rest of the game, as LA was consistently forced to defend in their own half of the field and already-tired legs were heavily tested for the majority of the second half. Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski tied up the game in the 75th off a long clearance by SJ goalkeeper David Bingham, who was credited with the assist.
In the 84th minute, Van Damme was shown a yellow card for dissent after arguing with referee Allen Chapman over what he believes should be a penalty kick for LA as Bernardez potentially handled the ball in the box. Chapman did not change his decision on a no-call, so play continued as the LA Galaxy began to look more worn down due to frustration and fatigue.
Second half substitution, Shea Salinas, sealed LA’s fate by slotting home a 93rd-minute goal. After the final whistle, Van Damme expressed his continued frustration over the no-call to the referee, earning him a second yellow and a red card for the evening. He’ll be suspended for the next game.
Looking ahead, the Galaxy will be taking on Real Seal Lake on Tuesday for their annual 4th of July celebration at home, in hopes of improving their record at home despite a short turnaround. They currently sit in 6th place in the Western Conference with 22 points, one point above the dread red line and being out of playoff contention.
LA – Jelle Van Damme 11’ (Assisted by Jose Villarreal)
SJ – Chris Wondolowski 75’ (Assisted by David Bingham)
SJ – Shea Salinas 90’+4’ (Assisted by Danny Hoesen)