CARSON, Calif. – Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal were pleased with their performance in the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids. The only thing that was missing, however, was missing was a goal.
McBean and Villarreal were dynamic from the opening whistle as they resumed their Academy and Reserve League partnership due to the absence of captain Robbie Keane. Villarreal set the tone early with a header in the third minute that was saved by Clint Irwin as the pair continued to rack up scoring opportunities until McBean saw a shot saved by Irwin in the 86th minute.
In the end, the pair accounted for seven shots on goal –four for McBean and three for Villarreal— only three fewer than LA’s total on the night. Although Mike Magee scored the lone goal on a penalty kick, McBean felt confident about his showing in just his fifth MLS appearance.
“We talked to each other before the game, we knew that we were going to make mistakes; it’s just how you rebound from them,” said McBean. “I thought we both worked for each other and kept positive attitudes, it was fun.”
Following the match, the teenagers’ teammates were plenty complimentary of their performance.
“We were actually kind of excited to see what those two would do together and obviously, they were good tonight,” said Magee.
“They were all over the field; they had a great game and were unlucky not to score,” added defender Todd Dunivant. “Maybe the forward duo that I’ve ever played with, but they were great.”
What may have made them great, according to Villarreal was their age. The pair have had plenty of success in Academy, Reserve League and CONCACAF Champions League matches in the past and were eager to make that success translate to the league level.
“We just went at the defenders. We didn’t care if they were veterans in the league or not,” said Villarreal. “It’s a matter of us implementing our style of play and our aggressiveness.”
Dunivant was quick to agree that their brashness will only help them going forward.
“They were fearless. That’s probably what makes them as good as they are because they don’t even know what they’re doing, which is a good thing,” said Dunivant. “There is brashness there and it works for them. Jose is taking shots and he’s aggressive and Jack is holding up the ball there for us and that stuff is going to add up. Those guys are going to be big for us.”
CARSON, Calif. – Bruce Arena offered his thoughts following the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids.
Arena’s press conference transcript is below…
(On the performance of Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal…)
ARENA: “I think they did well tonight. Each could have had a goal perhaps, but I think Colorado's goalkeeper played well; to his credit. If we're at fault for anything tonight, certainly keeping them around for ninety minutes was a flaw in our performance. I think we had chances to get the second and third goal. Give them credit, they never quit. Their goalkeeper played extremely well. At the end of the game, at least we were solid enough this week to make sure we got the three points. “
(On struggling to get chances after the red card…)
ARENA: “I don't think that's accurate. We had some chances to score goals.”
(On the importance of the red card…)
ARENA: “It was important. It brought them down to ten players and there was penalty kick so it was a huge play in the game.”
(On the defensive performance…)
ARENA: “Good performance. They've been good all year. We've conceded two goals in five competitive matches now. For the most part we've been pretty good.”
(On Leonardo’s performance…)
ARENA: “[He is] playing very well. [After his] Comeback, if you want to call it that, from some serious injuries over the last couple years has been remarkable. It looks to me that he's jumping very well, as you can see tonight the number of headers he won, and he's getting his speed back. We're real pleased with Leo and throughout the year we're going to need to have a lot of depth in our back line and certainly he's only made it stronger by the way he's been able to come back.”
(On whether Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane’s return offers the Galaxy a buffer in tight games…)
ARENA: “There's no guarantees. Robbie played last week too, you know, and the result wasn't the same. It'll be great to get Robbie back, I don't know if he's going to be ready to play against Toronto after this international spell. We'll have to see how he is when we get to D.C. And Landon's going to take some time. That's all part of it. It's good that these young players are at a point that we can count on them as well."
Thoughts on the performance?
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We're just a few hours away from the LA Galaxy's match against the Colorado Rapids. Before you begin your pregame ritual, check out my links and match ups to watch...
*Robbie Keane is unavailable due to international duty and while LA have a host of options up top. One possibility could see Homegrown forwards Jose Villarreal and Jack McBean together. If they do, veteran Mike Magee has confidence that they can succeed.
*Keane's absence means that Todd Dunivant will takeover the captain's armband.
*Forward isn't the place that head coach Bruce Arena will have to make a change in central defense as he must also replace defender Omar Gonzalez.
*Whoever starts in the Galaxy defense will need to put the brakes on speedy Jamaican forward Deshorn Brown.
*LAGalaxy.com writer Larry Morgan provided his preview to the match against the Rapids.
*Lastly, my Three Points to the game.
MATCH UPS TO WATCH
Deshorn Brown vs. A.J. DeLaGarza
Perhaps the key match up of the night, Brown has been a revelation for Colorado during the first three matches of his career, but he'll face a stiff test in the crafty DeLaGarza. Expect the Galaxy to allow DeLaGarza to use his speed to blanket the quick Jamaican forward.
Todd Dunivant and Colin Clark vs. Marvell Wynne
Not a traditional match up but Galaxy captain Todd Dunivant and Colin Clark will have their hands full with Marvel Wynne, who has been known to create chances with his wide receiver-like speed while blazing down the flanks.
Galaxy midfield duo vs. Colorado's midfield trio
The battle for possession will come down to LA's Brazilian midfield pair of Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho against Colorado's midfield triangle of Kevin Harbottle, Hendry Thomas and Dillon Powers. Colorado will be looking to pressure LA into conceding possession -- perhaps not unlike what Chivas USA did last week -- which means that LA's Brazilian midfield must spread the ball around and open up space in the attack.
Cudicini; Franklin, DeLaGarza, Leonardo, Dunivant; Magee, Sarvas, Juninho, Clark; Villarreal, McBean
Galaxy 2-1. Goals from Villarreal, Dunivant (LA) and Brown (COL).
What is your predicted lineup for the game? What is the predicted score?
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A little programming note ahead of Saturday's LA Galaxy match.
I'll be answering questions from fans during the Access SportsNet: Galaxy ahead of each game televised on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. You can tweet your questions to #GalaxyInsider and they'll be answered by myself, analyst Clint Mathis and host Chris McGee.
Be sure to turn in at 7:00 to catch the show.
In case you missed it, check out last night's incredible highlights of Friday night's U.S. victory over Costa Rica at a snowy Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Watch them below...
What did you think of the performance?
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LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez started and went 90 minutes as the United States earned a 1-0 over Costa Rica in a World Cup Qualifier played in a blizzard-like conditions at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
Clint Dempsey put the U.S. head for good in the 16th minute as he tapped in a deflection forced by a Jozy Altidore shot. Gonzalez and the U.S. return to action on Tuesday against Mexico at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. El Tri drew Honduras 2-2 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Friday.
The U.S. is now in second place in the Hexagonal with three points, one point behind group leader Honduras. Panama is in third place level on points with Mexico and Jamaica with two, but ahead on goal differential while Costa Rica is at the bottom of the group with one point.
Dempsey's goal is below...
LAGalaxy.com's Paolo Ferrari caught up with LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and midfielder Mike Magee to break down Saturday's match against the Colorado Rapids.
Check it out below...
CARSON, Calif. – For the LA Galaxy to earn a result on Saturday against the Colorado Rapids, LA must slow down Colorado’s newest weapon—speedy forward Deshorn Brown.
The rookie forward from Central Florida has excelled during the first three games of his career tallying a goal and an assist in three starts. His first career MLS goal was an opportunistic one as he was able to strip Real Salt Lake defender Chris Schuler before beating Nick Rimando during Colorado’s 1-1 draw with RSL last week.
“I thought have been very good. He’s definitely a threat with his speed to get behind back lines and that’s how they’ve been utilizing them,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “He scored an opportunistic goal against Salt Lake by stripping a defender and having a great finish. He’s a player that we’re well aware of and he’s really had a great start in the league.”
When it comes to marking Brown, Arena is likely to turn to center back A.J. DeLaGarza to stop the Jamaican. Quick in his own right, DeLaGarza is often deployed by Arena to neutralize faster threats and will likely be partnered with Leonardo in central defense with Omar Gonzalez away on international duty.
Although containing Colorado’s speedy Jamaican, defender Todd Dunivant, who will serve as LA’s captain on Saturday, insists that slowing down the Rapids will be a team effort.
“From looking at the video, their team is good at sending in penetrating passes so when they break our pressure and have their head up with the ball and time and space to play, their guys are taking off. Not just Brown, but [Tony] Cascio and [Atiba] Harris too,” said Dunivant. “They like to get in behind and they’ve been successful at it. They’ve had a couple of breakaways and really put ourselves in dangerous positions so we have to do a good job of first getting pressure on the ball and second if they break it, then we have to drop our line.”
LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane enjoyed another strong performance for Ireland as the Irish earned a scoreless draw against Sweden in their World Cup Qualifier match in Stockholm on Friday.
Keane was one of Ireland's most active players on the night, but was unable to find the back of the net before giving way for Wes Hoolahan in the 77th minute of play.
With the result, Ireland remain in third place in Group C with seven points just one point behind Sweden for second place. Keane and the Irish return to action on Tuesday against fourth-place Austria in Dublin.