CARSON, Calif. – Former Galaxy midfielder Nathan Sturgis scored the only goal of the game as the Houston Dynamo handed the LA Galaxy their second straight loss of the preseason, winning 1-0 at The Home Depot Center. An open and entertaining first half of soccer was scoreless before Sturgis scored with just over 20 minutes remaining to give his team the win.
Bruce Arena started nine of the same 11 that started Tuesday’s game against Portland and that unit almost got on the board first in the 17th minute when Marcelo Sarvas collected a pass and turned his defender on the edge of the area before hitting a right-footed shot that Tally Hall was forced to palm away for a corner kick.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
It was then the Dynamo’s turn to go on the offensive, with Josh Saunders having to make a pair of diving saves off freekicks while also having to claim a number of crosses into his area.
The Galaxy had the better of the play over the final 10 minutes of the opening half, with Edson Buddle sending a header just wide of goal off a David Beckham corner kick in the 34th minute. Four minutes later, Beckham went close with a freekick of his own, forcing a save from Hall while Paolo Cardozo shot just over the bar a minute later after a beating a pair of defenders at the top of the box.
Both teams made a number of changes at the half, with the Galaxy replacing all 11 players and the Dynamo changing all 10 of their field players while keeping Tally Hall in the goal. Neither Hall nor Bill Gaudette, who replaced Josh Saunders, were challenged extensively in the opening 20 minutes of the second half, but in the 68th minute, the Dynamo struck and took a 1-0 lead. A Houston corner kick could not be completely cleared by the Galaxy defense, allowing Josue Soto to collect the ball on the right flank 35 yards from goal. He sent an early cross into the center of the box that Sturgis was able to get to first, looping a header over Gaudette to make the score 1-0.
Houston was forced to make a change four minutes later when referee Alejandro Mariscal showed Colin Rolfe a red card for a late tackle on Andrew Boyens. Cam Weaver came on for the rookie to keep the teams playing 11 on 11 and the big forward nearly helped his team double their lead, setting up Macoumba Kandji, who saw his shot saved by Gaudette, who was quick off his line to cut down the angle Kandji had to shoot at.
Three minutes later in the 80th minute, the Galaxy nearly equalized when Rafael Garcia, who was making his first appearance of the preseason, rifled a shot on goal from 25 yards out, only for Hall to tip the ball over the crossbar for a corner kick, keeping the score at 1-0, which was the eventual final scoreline.
The Galaxy will be back in action on Tuesday, February 14 when they host former Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and the Montreal Impact at The Home Depot Center on University Field #1. This game will be open to a limited number of fans who make a donation of five dollars or more to the Galaxy Foundation on the day of the game. For more information about this game, please click here or visit www.lagalaxy.com/caravan.
LA Galaxy 0, Houston Dynamo 1
Friday, February 10, 2012
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
HOU – Nathan Sturgis (Josue Soto) 68’
LA – Hector Jimenez (Yellow Card) 34’
HOU – Colin Rolfe (Red Card) 77’
LA Galaxy: Josh Saunders (Bill Gaudette 46’); Bryan Jordan (Dustin McCarty 46’), A.J. DeLaGarza (Andrew Boyens 46’), Tommy Meyer (Bryan Gaul 46’), Todd Dunivant (J.T. Murray 46’); Hector Jimenez (Stephen Posa 46’), David Beckham (Rafael Garcia 46’), Marcelo Sarvas (Michael Stephens 46’), Paolo Cardozo (Ryan Thomas 46’); Pat Noonan (Jack McBean 46’), Edson Buddle (Adam Cristman 46’).
Subs Not Used: Nick Noble, Justin Davies, Dan Keat, Kenney Walker.
Referee: Alejandro Mariscal