CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy earned their first win of the season in MLS Reserve League play on Monday, defeating Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-1 at The Home Depot Center. Gregg Berhalter and Adam Cristman scored on either side of halftime for the Galaxy while Omar Salgado pulled one back for the Whitecaps with 13 minutes left in the match.
Each team created chances in the opening 25 minutes, with Paolo Cardozo hitting the post with a freekick for the Galaxy and Nizar Khalfan testing Brian Perk at the other end of the field.
Finally, in the 27th minute, the Galaxy would get onto the scoreboard courtesy of Berhalter. A Hector Jimenez corner kick was cleared by the Vancouver defense, but only as far as LA’s Ryan Thomas, who collected the ball near midfield and quickly played it to Cardozo wide on the right. Cardozo hit an early cross to the back post where Berhalter was able to stay onside before hitting a first time shot low and inside the far post past Vancouver goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre, giving the Galaxy a 1-0 lead.
WATCH: Postgame Reaction and Highlights
The Galaxy took that lead into the second half, only to nearly concede an equalizer midway through the second half. Just before the hour mark, Russell Teibert cut past a pair of Galaxy defenders on the left wing and got into the box, only for Perk to slide out and take the ball off his foot before he could get off a shot from close range. Six minutes later, Perk was quick off his line to save a shot from Khalfan at the top of the box, while the rebound was put just wide by Michael Nanchoff under pressure from Berhalter.
Despite being on their back foot, the Galaxy were able to double their lead in the 73rd minute when Cristman scored, beating Sylvestre from 20 yards out. Cardozo provided the final assist again, winning the ball off the feet Pete Vagenas before playing a short square ball to Cristman. Cristman took one touch to get the ball on his right foot before beating Sylvestre with a right footed shot just inside his left post.
The Whitecaps wasted little time in getting one back and cutting the Galaxy lead to one, as Vancouver got on the scoreboard in the 77th minute through Salgado. Vagenas started the attack by playing the ball forward to the feet of Khalfan who quickly played it back to Nanchoff. The Vancouver rookie then clipped a ball over the LA defense for Salgado, who was able to beat Dustin McCarty to the ball and lob a shot over Perk from the top of the box, making the score 2-1.
However, that would be as close as the Whitecaps were able to get as the Galaxy held on for their first win of the season. The Galaxy, who are back in action on Tuesday, July 5 when they host the Seattle Sounders FC, are now 1-4-0 on the season, while the Whitecaps are now 0-3-1. They are back in action on Sunday, July 31 when they host the Galaxy at Empire Field.
LA Galaxy (1-4-0) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (0-3-1)
June 20, 2011 – The Home Depot Center – University Field #1
LA – Gregg Berhalter (Paolo Cardozo) 27’
LA – Adam Cristman (Paolo Cardozo) 73’
VAN – Omar Salgado (Michael Nanchoff) 77’
LA – Dan Keat (Yellow Card) 63’
LA – Michael Stephens (Yellow Card) 79’
LA Galaxy – Brian Perk; Dustin McCarty, Kyle Davies (Chad Barrett 57’), Gregg Berhalter, Ryan Thomas; Dan Keat, Jovan Kirovski, Bryan Jordan, Hector Jimenez; Paolo Cardozo (Michael Stephens 74’), Adam Cristman.
Subs Not Used: Vince Paldino, Grady Howe, Riley Wolfe.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC – Brian Sylvestre; Bilal Duckett (Philippe Davies 77’), Greg Janicki (Blake Wagner 60’), Mouloud Akloul, Alex Morfaw; Russell Teibert (Cian Hughton 81’), Pete Vagenas, Nizar Khalfan, Michael Nanchoff; Omar Salgado, Long Tan (Wes Knight 51’).
Subs Not Used: Kevin Guppy.