TEMPE, Ariz. – The LA Galaxy suffered their first defeat of the preseason on Wednesday, losing to the Colorado Rapids at Arizona State University, 4-2. Landon Donovan and Adam Cristman each scored their first goals for the club of the preseason early in the second half, but it was not enough as Colorado scored twice on either side of halftime to claim the win.
After an uneventful opening 15 minutes, the Rapids were able to get on the board first when Conor Casey finished off a cross from Jamie Smith, despite claims of offside from the LA defense for a 1-0 lead. Juan Pablo Angel and Miguel Lopez each tried to get the Galaxy back on level terms, but it would be Colorado that was the next to score, stretching their lead to 2-nil just six minutes later. Smith and Casey once again combined for the goal with Smith driving a freekick into the box, which the LA defense was the first to get to, but a miss-timed clearance saw the ball fall to Casey and he was able to easily beat Donovan Ricketts from close range.
In the second half, the Galaxy responded well at the start and were able to cut Colorado’s lead in half in the 58th minute when Landon Donovan scored from the penalty spot. After a string of sustained possession, Michael Stephens was able to play Donovan into the box, where the Galaxy captain was pushed down by Kosuke Kimura, causing the referee to blow his whistle and point to the spot. Donovan stepped up and beat Colorado goalkeeper Ian Joyce low to his right from the spot, making it 2-1.
Four minutes later, LA made five changes to the lineup, including bringing Adam Cristman on for Juan Pablo Angel. Just two minutes after stepping on the field, Cristman recorded his first goal in a Galaxy uniform, tying the score at 2-2. Hector Jimenez started the attack by winning the ball on the right wing near midfield. As he battled to maintain possession, Frankie Hejduk, who also came on just minutes earlier, overlapped from his right back position and took a short pass from Jimenez before racing toward goal. He hit a low cross across the six yard box for Cristman who poked the ball home at the near post to equalize for the Galaxy.
WATCH: Galaxy vs Rapids Preseason Match Recap
LA continued to hold the advantage following Cristman’s equalizer with Stephens and Hejduk each testing Joyce. But it would be the Rapids that would pull back in front with the eventual game-winning goal.
With 14 minutes remaining, Stephen Emory clipped a ball behind the LA defense for former Irish international Caleb Folan, who raced onto the pass, despite further claims of offside, and chipped it over the onrushing Josh Saunders to make the score 3-2.
Emory would round out the scoring three minutes later, beating Saunders with a low, right-footed shot from outside the area and send LA to their first loss of 2011.
COL – Conor Casey (Jamie Smith) 19’
COL – Conor Casey (Unassisted) 25’
LA – Landon Donovan (Penalty Kick) 58’
LA – Adam Cristman (Frankie Hejduk) 64’
COL – Caleb Folan (Stephen Emory) 76’
COL – Stephen Emory (Unassisted) 79’
LA – Jovan Kirovski (Yellow Card) 52’
LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts (Josh Saunders 62’); Sean Franklin (Frankie Hejduk 62'), Leonardo (Gregg Berhalter 62'), Omar Gonzalez (Ryan Thomas 77’), Todd Dunivant (A.J. DeLaGarza 46’); Chris Birchall (Jovan Kirovski 46’), Landon Donovan (Hector Jimenez 62’), Juninho (Paolo Cardozo 62’), Miguel Lopez (Michael Stephens 46’); Juan Pablo Angel (Adam Cristman 62’), Mike Magee (Bryan Jordan 46’).
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