Seconds away from sealing a victory at the Home Depot Center Saturday night before a crowd of 20,675, the Los Angeles Galaxy allowed a late tying goal to Toronto FC and settled for a 2-2 draw. The tie shifts the Galaxy’s overall record to 8-2-7 with 31 points, good enough still for a best mark in the league while placing at the top of the Western Conference. Also, the Galaxy improve their unbeaten streak to seven games, going 4-0-3 in that period.
However, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was not pleased with the result.
“Disappointing result, certainly to work as hard as we had to work in this game. Give Toronto a lot of credit, I thought they played real hard,” he says during the post-game press conference.
Midfielder Chris Birchall netted his first career MLS and team goal in the second minute of play. Forward Miguel Lopez received the assists, as Birchall gave the Galaxy an early 1-0 edge.
“It’s nice. It has been a long time coming, two years,” Birchall says of the score, which came in during his 48th game played. “The guys have been giving me a bit of stick in the locker room, but a few people tonight said I would get my goal and it came to me in this game so I’m happy.”
Toronto FC fired back with forward Alan Gordon’s game-tying goal in the 68th minute. However, Colombian striker Juan Pablo Ángel earned his third goal of the year during stoppage time, giving Los Angeles a 2-1 lead.
“Those goals are very important, especially that late in the game. I thought it was the winning goal, so it meant a lot,” Ángel says.
Gordon knotted the score yet again three minutes later and seconds away from the game ending.
“Give Alan Gordon a lot of credit, great goal at the end,” Arena adds. “We had a bunch of guys standing around, we got out competed at the end of the game in that play. Give him a lot of credit. He did well, he took that chance well.”
Los Angeles played without Landon Donovan (U.S.), Donovan Ricketts (Jamaica) and Juninho (wed in Brazil). Both Donovans are serving national soccer team duty in CONCACAF’s Gold Cup tournament.
The Galaxy aim to get back to their winning ways on Saturday, June 18, as they visit the Colorado Rapids for a 6 p.m. start time.
“We still need to sharpen some things up,” Galaxy defender Sean Franklin says. “We talked about it the whole year that’s probably like one of the last things that we need, the final third, to make smart passes. I think if we focus on it we will be fine for the rest of the season.”
Sports: Soccer [Galaxy Kick]
Los Angeles Lets One Go
By Marvin Vasquez
Article posted on 6/13/2011
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