While the Los Angeles Galaxy had recent success on their side going into Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League match against Puerto Rico, but the visitors showed they had history working for them.
Semifinalists in the 2008-09 CONCACAF Champions League, the Islanders had their way with the Galaxy at Home Depot Center on Tuesday as the visitors cruised to a 4-1 win over a pedestrian Galaxy squad.
Nicholas Addlery scored two goals for Puerto Rico in the rout. The Galaxy, who fielded Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle, almost went blank had it not been for a late own-goal from Islander defender Richard Martinez, perhaps giving the club a sliver of hope heading into next week’s second leg in Puerto Rico.
Easily the team’s strength in the first portion of the year, the Galaxy’s defense is suddenly human. The club has now failed to pick up a shutout in the last six games in all competitions and has allowed 11 goals in that span.
Puerto Rico stunned the Galaxy with a goal midway through the first half. David Horst powered a header on goal off a corner kick but AJ De La Garza was on the goal line to clear it off the line. However, David Foley stood in front of the goal and easily knocked the rebound into the back of the net.
Addlery scored his first goal of the game in the closing stages of the first half. He took a pass from Scott Jones and fired a shot on goal that was too strong for Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders to handle.
Josh Hansen, who briefly plied his trade with the Galaxy before, gave Puerto Rico a 3-0 lead in the 56th minute when he slammed a long-range shot off the right post and into the back of the net.
Instead, Puerto Rico scored another goal. Addlery took possession of a turnover some 45 yards out and dribbled towards the penalty spot. Addlery ripped a shot near the outside of the penalty area off Saunders’ hands and into the back of the net.
The Galaxy had at least one goal in them, but even that was with the help of Puerto Rico. Buddle took control of the ball inside the penalty area and sent a ball off Martinez and past Bill Gaudette for the Galaxy’s lone goal of the match.
On Aug. 4, the Galaxy will play at Puerto Rico and will need at least a three-goal victory to have a chance of advancing to the tournament group stage.
PR – David Foley 1 (Unassisted) 26’
PR – Nicolas Addlery 1 (Scott Jones 1) 45’
PR – Josh Hansen 1 (Unassisted) 55’
PR – Nicolas Addlery 2 (Unasssisted) 81’
LA – Own Goal (Richard Martinez) 83’
PR – Noah Delgado (Yellow Card) 43’
LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; A.J. DeLaGarza (Michael Stephens 39’), Leonardo, Gregg Berhalter (Tristan Bowen 64’), Eddie Lewis; Chris Birchall, Sean Franklin, Juninho, Landon Donovan©; Edson Buddle, Alan Gordon (Alex Cazumba 64’).
Subs Not Used: Donovan Ricketts, Omar Gonzalez, Dema Kovalenko, Jovan Kirovski.
Puerto Rico Islanders: Bill Gaudette; Scott Jones, Marco Velez, David Horst, Richard Martinez; Osei Telesford, Christopher Nurse, David Foley (Kendall Jagdeosingh 78’), Josh Hansen (Logan Emory 87’), Noah Delgado (Kevon Villaroel 72’); Nicolas Addlery.
Subs Not Used: Cody Laurenti, Alexis Rivera, Sandy Gbandi, Jonathan Fana.