The LA Galaxy’s trip to Canada yielded no goals and just one point, but players walked away feeling as if more was within reach.
Playing without team captain Landon Donovan for the second consecutive match, the Galaxy tied Toronto FC 0-0 in what was a frustrating and ultimately costly match. David Beckham picked up his fifth yellow card of the season while Juninho earned a late red card and both will be out on Saturday.
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Still, players said they deserved more.
“We had the chances, we just couldn’t put them away,” Beckham said. “When you have that many chances, sometimes you need a bit of luck on your side and we just didn’t have it.”
Luck did not seem to be on the Galaxy’s side. Beckham rattled a late free kick off the post while Chad Barrett hit the crossbar early. Shots were falling, but not the way the club had hoped for.
“We hit the post, we hit the crossbar a couple of times and we had the majority of the play and the majority of the chances,” Beckham said. “But it’s disappointing. Obviously we want to win these games.”
Barrett earned the start at forward after Miguel Lopez started the last two matches. A former Toronto FC player, Barrett performed well in familiar surroundings.
“Chad did well, he worked hard,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “He maybe had a chance to get a goal but I thought he had his best game of the year for us.”
For Barrett, the trip to BMO Field brought back memories and was the source of an exciting night, even if three points were not in order.
“There is a bunch of excitement, obviously I was ready to go,” he said. “I thought the team did very well today. We came out, we forced them out, and we pressed the game. We got a little open there at the end, but we have to try to push forward and score a goal. I think that we were the better team and I think we deserved more than what we got here.”
Worse than the negative feelings surrounding the draw, players and coaches felt what they left on the table is the tangible negatives heading into Sunday’s match at Chicago.
Donovan is questionable as a knee injury has kept him in Southern California while the team is away. Beckham and Juninho will also sit the match on suspension, meaning the club’s top assist-man (Beckham has three assists) and goal-scorer (Juninho leads the team with two goals) are gone.
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Beckham’s yellow card was his fifth in six games. He becomes the first player in MLS this season to miss a game due to an accumulation of yellow cards.
The team’s offensive woes continued and are becoming more pronounced. The Galaxy have five goals in six games and saw their average goals per game dip to under one following the shutout. Three of the goals have come on set pieces as the Galaxy struggle to generate scoring opportunities in the run of play.
“We have got a long way to go,” Arena said. “Certainly, when you walk off the field and you don’t have three points, you know you have a lot of work ahead of you and we do.”