CARSON, Calif. – Goals from Juninho and Landon Donovan on either side of halftime gave the LA Galaxy a 2-1 win over UCLA in their final preseason game of the year at The Home Depot Center.
Fielding a nearly full strength squad, the Galaxy controlled the first half, maintaining possession and limiting UCLA’s chances in the opening 15 minutes. LA’s first serious chance came in the 15th minute when Juan Pablo Angel headed a David Beckham corner kick off the crossbar. The ball bounced straight down, but did not go over the line and was cleared from danger, keeping the game scoreless.
It would stay that way for just seven more minutes until Juninho opened the scoring. The second-year Brazilian midfielder hit a low, right-footed shot through a maze of bodies, beating the UCLA keeper just inside his right post, putting the Galaxy in front 1-0.
Angel nearly doubled the lead just three minutes later, only to see his shot from a tight angle strike the outside of the post and deflecting out of bounds for a goal kick.
Bruce Arena named an unchanged side at the start of the second half and just five minutes after the restart, his team was up 2-0. Angel collected the ball 35 yards from goal and quickly played the ball to Chad Barrett at the top of the box. Barrett settled the pass and played a ball into the path of Landon Donovan inside the penalty area on the left. Donovan cut in on his right foot and dribbled between two defenders before rolling a right-footed shot inside the far post for a 2-0 lead.
WATCH: Donovan and Juninho both score goals in win
LA’s two-goal lead was short-lived as the Bruins cut the lead to 2-1 five minutes later as a loose ball fell to one of the UCLA forwards at the top of the box and he beat Josh Saunders from 16 yards out.
Ten minutes after their goal, the Bruins nearly got an equalizer. Josh Saunders parried a long range shot and the Bruins were the first to get to the rebound, only to see the follow up shot hit Saunders’ left post before A.J. DeLaGarza was able to clear the ball from danger.
Second half substitutes Frankie Hejduk and Miguel Lopez each tested the UCLA defense in the game’s final 15 minutes, but neither could extend the Galaxy lead before the final whistle.
LA – Juninho (Unassisted) 22’
LA – Landon Donovan (Chad Barrett, Juan Pablo Angel) 50’
UCLA – 55’
UCLA – (Yellow Card) 69’
LA – Juninho (Yellow Card) 76’
LA – Omar Gonzalez (Yellow Card) 82’
LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin (Frankie Hejduk 71’), Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Todd Dunivant (A.J. DeLaGarza 61’); Chris Birchall, David Beckham, Juninho (Michael Stephens 77’), Landon Donovan (Mike Magee 51’); Juan Pablo Angel (Paolo Cardozo 80’), Chad Barrett (Miguel Lopez 63’).
WATCH: Postgame reaction from Bruce Arena, Omar Gonzalez and Landon Donovan
Join the Galaxy as they Countdown to Kickoff with a series of events and appearances for fans in the community. Galaxy players, staff, Miss LA Galaxy Court members and Galaxy Street Team will be active throughout the week engaging with fans, the public and media in order to thank them for their support and to raise awareness for the start of the 2011 MLS season. For the full schedule and and opportunities to meet the Galaxy players, visit www.lagalaxy.com/caravan.
Take your photo with the 2010 Supporters' Shield and 2009 Western Conference Championship Trophy on Tuesday, March 15 at Ye Olde King's Head before your LA Galaxy face the Seattle Sounders in MLS First Kick 2011 at 6:30 p.m. PT on ESPN/Deportes. Plus, opportunities to win tickets to the Galaxy home opener as well as an autographed jersey! MORE INFO
On Sunday, March 20, the Galaxy will host the New England Revolution in their home opener, presented by Pechanga Resort & Casino, at 5 p.m. at The Home Depot Center. The first 15,000 fans will receive 2011 magnet schedules. Tickets are available for that match, starting at 25. BUY NOW