The LA Galaxy Academy narrowly missed out on the first positive result of their England tour this afternoon with a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City at Platt Lane.
With just one game scheduled, coaches Trevor James, Matt Mennell and Kenny Arena used a combination of the U-16 and U-18 squads against a City side that featured a host of Youth Internationals from across Europe, including Frederic Veseli, the captain of the Swiss team that won the 2009 U-17 World Cup in Nigeria in November and England U-17 midfielder Ahmed Benali.
Despite not playing together as a group prior to Wednesday morning's warmup, the Galaxy nearly took an early lead over their hosts with forward Christian Alvarado having a goal called back for offside and midfielder Riley Wolfe blazing a freekick high over the bar inside the opening 10 minutes.
At the other end of the field, defender Joe Kearney was forced to clear off his line after City had beaten goalkeeper Vince Paldino, who later came up with a reflex save of his own to keep the game scoreless at the break.
Shortly after the restart, U-16 forward Neil Ignacio, who scored his team's first goal on Monday at Blackburn, entered the game and had an immediate impact. He raced onto a long ball down the right flank from Wolfe, managing to keep the ball in play before in crossed over the end line. Ignacio then spun past a City defender and crossed to Alvarado at the near post where the Galaxy forward was able to smash a header home and put LA up 1-0.
However that lead would last just two minutes before City equalized, slotting home the rebound of another diving stop by Paladino.
City scored the winner with just more than 20 minutes left when they caught the Galaxy on a quick counterattack and beat Paladino to make the score 2-1.
Ignacio and fellow substitute midfielder Ritchie Gonzalez each had chances to equalize late on but could not find a way past the City goalkeeper and the game finished 2-1 in favor of the hosts.
Galaxy Lineup: Vince Paladino; Joe Kearney (John Atkinson 85'), Mike Mardesich, Juan Perez, Gabriel Rivera; Nathaniel Schnitman, Eric Verso (Juan Mendoza 80'), Spencer Johnson (Ritchie Gonzalez 70'), Riley Wolfe; Christian Alvarado (Trent Clifton 65'/Dyllan Stevens 89'), Ruben Valencia (Neil Ignacio 49').