Galaxy Brazilians a bright spot in opening loss to RSL
CARSON, CA (BDCi TV) – – With 25,624 faithful fans in attendance the Los Angeles Galaxy were hopeful that they could get revenge against the team that eliminated them in the run for a third straight MLS Cup last year. But Real Salt Lake and especially their vaunted goalkeeper Nick Rimando had other ideas as they rode a late second half goal to steal an impressive 1-0 victory Saturday night in the 2014 MLS opener for both teams.
The Galaxy took shot after shot all night against Rimando, eventually earning a margin of 27 to 9 in that department. However going 0 for 27 was as much great goalkeeping as it was disappointing offensive closing. Two shots by Galaxy forward Robbie Keane highlighted the second point.
The first came in the 34th minute when Landon Donovan intercepted a weak Rimando goal kick, heading it to an open Robbie Keane at the top of the box. Keane got a clean look at the net but fired a bent shot that hit nothing but cross bar.
The second Keane miscue was even more improbable as the Irishman was asked to take a penalty kick in late second half stoppage time after Galaxy striker Rob Friend was hammered in the box by RSL defender Nat Borchers. Keane guessed left as did Rimando who batted the penalty kick away to his right to save the game for his teammates.
Between the two goalkeepers, Rimando tallied 9 saves to Jaime Penedo’s 5 saves in the opener.
Penedo had an impressive outing as well, only allowing an 80th minute goal to RSL forward Joao Plato of Ecuador, who took a through ball from Kyle Beckerman and easily guided it past Penedo. The replay showed that Plata may have been offsides, lined up behind Omar Gonzalez, but the Galaxy didn’t get the checkered flag on that one.
All 4 Galaxy Brazilians started in this tight contest, including Samuel, a super skilled striker on loan from prestigious Rio club Fluminense. Although subbed for Friend in the 77th minute, the 22-year old was active, notching 3 shots, 2 on target.
Both Juninho and Marcelo had 4 shot attempts along with midfield play that limited RSL scoring drives.
Leonardo proved to be a very competent partner to Omar Gonzalez in the center defense minimizing threats to Penedo.
The next MLS game for Los Angeles is in Salt Lake City, Utah in two weeks as RSL host the Galaxy in a rematch of tonight’s close match-up. In the mean time, the Galaxy will be tied up in a 2-game CONCACAF series with Club Tijuana, the opening match to be held at the Stub Hub Center Wednesday March 12th at 7pm. Per L.A.’s website, tickets are still available for this potentially interesting battle.