Three Points: Sluggish LA Galaxy draw last place D.C. United

LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano’s Three Points to LA’s frustrating late draw with D.C. United

WASHINGTON—LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano offers his Three Points to the Galaxy’s disappointing 2-2 draw with D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Robbie Keane and Michael Stephens tallied for the Galaxy while Chris Pontius and Kyle Porter found the back of the net for the home side.

UNITED TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SLUGGISH LA GALAXY

The LA Galaxy got off to a dream start with Robbie Keane’s goal in the opening minutes of the match, but after the fast start, LA lost the momentum and struggled to get it back.

Throughout the match, D.C. United was able to win second ball opportunities in midfield and repeatedly forced LA off their game. The momentum truly shifted when Chris Pontius made a heads up play to pounce on a loose touch from Omar Gonzalez and convert for United’s first goal in the 39th minute. D.C. piled on the pressure as the second half began, but LA took the lead on a goal from Michael Stephens in the 81st, but the lead would not last as D.C. clawed a point out of the game with an equalizer less than three minutes later.

One of the reasons behind the poor showing? Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, Jaime Penedo and Omar Gonzalez each logged plenty of miles while with their respective international sides. However, that wasn’t the only reason as the entire team had to endure traveling across country as well.

TWO INJURIES TAKE THE WIND OUT OF THE LA GALAXY’S SAILS

Travel wasn’t the only reason for LA’s heavy legs as they were forced to deal with two injuries in the early stages as A.J. DeLaGarza suffered an elbow injury in the first half before Landon Donovan went down with an ankle injury at halftime.

DeLaGarza’s injury was particularly difficult as it forced Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena to throw on Sean Franklin in place of the right back. The severity of DeLaGarza’s injury forced Franklin into the game with little preparation, and though he improved as the match wore on, LA lost possession too often in the center of the park, giving United chances to test goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

In Donovan’s case, the forward turned his ankle in a collision with D.C.’s Luis Silva, forcing him to give way for Jose Villarreal, who struggled to link up with Keane up top. With the Irishman getting considerable pressure across the field, he was unable to deliver the type of service to place the 20-year-old in dangerous positions.

WHAT NEXT?

LA suffered a swift kick in the teeth with their draw to the league’s bottom side, but could the motivation from a tough draw serve the team well heading into the home stretch?

The Galaxy will get right back to work to prepare for Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League match against Isidro Metapán, which is a must win for LA as they hope to take the lead in Group 8 and qualify for the quarterfinals. The chance to return to the field quickly could prove invaluable for the Galaxy as they’ll be able to get right back in the grind and put Saturday's draw behind them. If LA can right the ship against the Salvadorians then it should allow them to head into their match with Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday with a full head of steam.

On the injury front, DeLaGarza’s injury appears to be more serious, though no timeline for a possible return has been announced while Donovan is optimistic that he’ll be able to return at some point in the next week ahead of LA’s two massive matches.

Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com