A couple of notes to get you through your Sunday evening...
*With their 3-0 victory over the Portland Timbers, the Seattle Sounders moved two points clear of the LA Galaxy for third spot. Seattle have 52 points to LA's 50 and have played one fewer match. The two teams face off against one another on October 28 at The Home Depot Center.
*Hearing that there is no update on the status of Landon Donovan yet, but there should be an update on Monday when the club returns to training.
*With Sporting Kansas City's 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew, the Chicago Fire clinched a playoff berth.
CARSON, Calif. -- For the second straight week, the LA Galaxy took the lead inside of 20 minutes and for the second straight time, they were unable to come away with three points.
After going up in the 17th minute on Robbie Keane's 15th goal of the year, two Fabian Espindola goal's in the span of three minutes, put LA down for good. The loss snapped LA's ten game unbeaten run in all competitions and allowed RSL to create a five point cushion on the Galaxy for the second spot in the Western Conference.
Whether, it was LA's inability to mark Espindola on his second goal of the game or poor finishing, head coach Bruce Arena had one word for LA's performance, "sloppy."
This is the second week in a row that one of the Galaxy players described LA's performance as sloppy as David Beckham referred to LA's showing after taking a lead in last week's 1-1 draw in Colorado.
Below are thoughts from defender Omar Gonzalez on how LA can improve in their next match in two weeks against the San Jose Earthquakes...
GONZALEZ: “I think we’ve just got to be tighter on them, we can’t let them get so many entry balls because they were just collecting balls coming into them and we were just being too easy on them and that just can’t happen. We’ve got to go from here and be a little bit more aggressive, make it harder for forwards to collect balls and then from there just be better on second balls.”
(On the performance with two new starters in the lineup...)
GONZALEZ: “I don’t really think it matters who you put in there, we’ve got to be better. That’s it, we’ve got to put a better effort out there. We started the game off great and then we just shut off for a couple plays and they punished us.”
CARSON, Calif. -- There was no 45 yard stunner goal on Saturday, but Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was full of praise for the performance of Brazilian midfielder Juninho in Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake.
Juninho's play in the midfield was at the forefront of an early deludge by the Galaxy in the opening stages of the game as LA put considerable pressure on RSL as they searched for an early goal. The Brazilian provided the spark that led to Robbie Keane's goal in the 17th minute when he launched a pinpoint cross towards the Irishman that Keane fired on a left-footed volley into the back of the net.
RSL would take the lead for good minutes later when Fabian Espindola tallied a pair of goals in the 25th and 28th minutes, but that did not prevent Juninho from trying to do his part in getting LA back in the game. Juninho rattled off four shots on the night, including one shot that rattled the cross bar in the sixth minute and another in the 87th that was saved by Nick Rimando.
However, that was not the only place on the stat sheet that showcased Juninho's impact as he made a total 72 successful passes out of his 78 attempts along with an impressive ten recoveries and two interceptions.
Below are Arena's thoughts on Juninho...
(On Juninho’s performance..)
ARENA: “I think Juninho played quite well for us tonight. If we had nine other players who played like Juninho tonight I think we would have won the game.”
(On the defense against Juninho...)
ARENA: “I’m not sure [they were pressing Juninho]. He got a little space when he hit that crossbar. I don’t think that was an issue, but I think they did play well, they did defend well; they deserved to win the game.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Josh Saunders discussed the LA Galaxy's 2-1 loss on this interview with LAGalaxy.com.
CARSON, Calif. - A few notes from the LA Galaxy's 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake.
*Real Salt Lake is now five points ahead of the Galaxy for the Western Conference's second spot. If the regular season today, the Galaxy would face off against RSL in the Western Conference semifinal.
*The defeat to RSL is the first time that an away team has defeated the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center more than once since the club moved into The HDC in 2003.
*In all three matches between RSL and the Galaxy, the home team was defeated and in all three times, the team to score first has lost.
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane scored an fantastic goal in the 17th minute, but it meant little in the grand scheme (the goal is below) as LA fell 2-1 to Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.
The Irish forward--who will now depart for international duty--opened the scoring inside of 20 minutes in the midst of an impressive LA push towards goal, when he received a pass from Juninho that he struck with a beautiful left-footed volley, beating RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando for the opening strike. However, after the goal, disaster struck as LA went down in the span of three minutes when Fabian Espindola scored in the 25th and 28th minute to put RSL ahead for good.
Following the match, Keane was quick to reflect on LA's inability to capitalize on early chances.
KEANE: “I don't know, I don't really care, when you lose a game, it's not really that important, to be honest with you, I’m disappointed with the result like everybody else. It was a game, I think, the first 20 minutes when we got the goal we were controlling the game and then we gave two goals away in the space of two minutes probably. So, I think that killed us.”
(On what the Salt Lake defense was doing that made it tough for LA to score...)
KEANE: “Nothing, really. Because if you looked at the first 20 minutes we about (had) four or five chances, but after that, as soon as you concede two goals, they sit back and invite pressure on and put two banks of four (players) and obviously made it difficult.”
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan suffered an apparent left knee injury in Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake.
Donovan picked up the injury in the 81st minute of play when he seemingly collided with RSL defender Jamison Olave on the left side of the penalty area. The knock kept Donovan down for several minutes, but the Galaxy captain was ultimately able to walk away under his own power before being subbed in the 85th minute for Jose Villarreal. Donovan told reporters after the match that the collision "didn't feel good" and he will be tested "as soon as possible."
There is some solace for Galaxy and U.S. national team fans, however, as Donovan revealed that he did not hear a pop in the midst of the collision.
As for Donovan's status for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers with the U.S. national team, Donovan said his status is "TBD" or to be determined.
Below are Donovan's thoughts on the match.
DONOVAN: "We're a little disappointed in the game. I'm not worried about [the international break] right now. We had a pretty good first half and then we fell asleep for a few minutes as Espindola made two good plays. It was frustrating, I thought we had some really good chances, they were scrambling a bit and making some last ditched blocks to dodge the bullet, but give them credit, they scored the goals that they needed to."
(On LA playing worse after scoring the first goal...)
DONOVAN: "I thought we played really well in the first half, but in the second half they did a better job of containing us as we didn't have as many chances. We got to do better-- myself included -- to score some of those and make it two or three to zero so that the game is over and we weren't able to do that."
(On whether RSL is better at blocking shots...)
DONOVAN: "It's the way that the game goes sometimes. It's not necessarily a skill or an art form. It's just that you put yourself there and the ball hits you. Tonight the ball hit them."
(On avoiding the Knock Out Round game...)
DONOVAN: "That's the goal, but that goal just got a lot more difficult. We're probably going to have to win both games and then see what happens. These were always going to be hard games. This was a disappointing one because we're playing a team that was within reach so then now they built a little bit of a gap, but we've known all along that this is going to be a battle at the end. Ideally, we don't play in the [Knock Out Round game] but if that's what happens then we're a team that can overcome."
(On whether it matters more to finish in second place rather than third...)
DONOVAN: "No, I don't think that we're too worry about that part. The goal is to be at least third and if you're fourth obviously, there is a disadvantage in playing the extra game, but we're a deep and if we have to do that then we have to do it."
Ahead of Saturday's match against Real Salt Lake, I've provided my Three Points to the match.
Let me know if you agree or disagree with my points in the comments section below.
The folks at LAGalaxy.com provided a video preview of tonight's match, complete with thoughts from Robbie Keane, Todd Dunivant and Landon Donovan
David Beckham is officially off the LA Galaxy's injury report.
Beckham was listed as questionable earlier in the week with a left ankle sprain, but the midfielder was removed on Friday's updated Injury Report. The 37-year-old English midfielder went 87 minutes in last week's 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids in his first match in a month.
Following training on Friday, Beckham told reporters that he is ready to participate in Saturday's match against Real Salt Lake...
“The ankle didn’t feel perfect [after the Colorado match] but it felt a lot better than what it had done,” said Beckham. “I’ve done a lot of strengthening work this week and while it’s not 100 percent, it’s close. It’s 98.”
The complete Injury Report is below:
OUT: DF A.J. DeLaGarza (L knee sprain); DF Leonardo (R knee inflammation); MF Kyle Nakazawa (back spasms); QUESTIONABLE: MF Christian Wilhelmsson (L calf strain)