Keeping up with the Galaxians - LA's Week in Review

August 29, 2012

Here is a look back at the latest happenings surrounding the LA Galaxy:

Galaxy vs. Isidro Metapan

On Wednesday night, Isidro Metapan visited the Home Depot Center to face the Galaxy in LA's opening match of the CONCACAF Champions League.  The Galaxy took the match seriously, as they fielded a strong lineup featuring David Beckham, Robbie Keane, Omar Gonzalez, and Juninho.

Nicolás Muñoz of Isidro Metapan got this high scoring game underway in the 17th minute when he tapped in a loose ball in the 6-yard box.

Just minutes later, a Beckham cross evened the score when the Metapan defense was unable to clear the ball and it resulted in an own goal.  Then, in the 22nd minute, another Beckham cross was dangerously put into the box and Robbie Keane was able to head home the ball past the defense for a 2-1 Galaxy lead.

Fittingly, in the 45th minute, the 1,000th goal of CONCACAF history was scored when Beckham curled in a cross from a corner-kick to beat the Metapan defense and goalkeeper for a 3-1 lead. Beckham's goal was the 1,000th since CONCACAF adopted the league format for its club championship four years ago.

In the second half, Mexican referee Alfredo Peñaloza's calls unfortunately became the focus.

Peñaloza's most memorable call came in the 70th minute when Keane dribbled the ball into the box as his leg and foot were struck by a Metapan defender.  Instead of awarding the Galaxy a free-kick, Keane was given a yellow card for diving. As Keane got up to voice his displeasure, Peñaloza rashly gave him a red card, causing Keane to be suspended for the next CONCACAF game.

In the 82nd minute, the Galaxy stepped up their level of play when Michael Stephens laid off a pass on the break to Juninho who scored for a 4-1 lead.  The final minutes of the game saw a penalty kick scored by Muñoz and another Juninho goal for a 5-2 result in favor of LA.

Galaxy vs. FC Dallas

In an important Western Conference matchup with playoff rights at stake, the Galaxy hosted FC Dallas on Sunday evening.  The Galaxy were without Landon Donovan, who was recovering from a hamstring strain, but on the field they still had Beckham, Keane, and the defensive back four of Gonzalez, Dunivant, DeLaGarza, and Franklin from the 2011 championship team.

The game's first scoring opportunity came in the 10th minute when Marcelo Sarvas had a decent look at goal following a pass from Sean Franklin. Sarvas, however, shot it right at goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.

In the 11th minute, Todd Dunivant of LA was fortunate not to receive a red card when he tackled Fabian Castillo on a breakaway. FC Dallas was unable to convert on the free-kick.

The defense of LA was solid for the rest of the first half other than in the 38th minute when David Ferreira made a diagonal pass to a streaking Castillo. However, keeper Josh Saunders was able to make a save before Castillo could shoot on goal.

As much as FC Dallas was struggling to get its offense going, so were the Galaxy.

In the 59th minute, Keane fired a shot from just inside the 18-yard box that threatened, but was wide.  Seconds later, Ferreira of FC Dallas had a great chance to score, but could not get the ball past a charging Josh Saunders.

Finally, the Galaxy broke through in the 66th minute when recent substitute and impressive youngster Jose Villareal stole the ball from FC Dallas' Hedges and got around Hartman. Villareal made the right pass to Juninho who easily punched the ball into goal for a 1-0 Galaxy lead.

In the 84th minute, the Galaxy put the game away when Dunivant pushed the ball up field and passed it to Keane.  Keane held off a defender off and passed to Michael Stephens who found Dunivant continuing his run.  Dunivant then beat Hartman with a low driving shot to the far post.

With the win, the Galaxy put themselves just three points behind Real Salt Lake and Seattle for a top 3 position in the Western Conference.  Their next MLS game comes Saturday night against Vancouver at home.

Galaxy Return to CONCACAF Play

LA will continue their play in the CONCACAF Champions League competition tonight at the The Home Depot Center against the Puerto Rico Islanders at 7pm before traveling outside of the U.S. for games in September and October.

By Brian Kowalski
Staff Reporter for

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