CARSON, Calif. – The Three Points to Sunday’s 2-0 LA Galaxy victory over FC Dallas…
VILLARREAL CREATES AN IMMEDIATE SPARK OFF THE BENCH
As both offenses struggled amid a highly physical clash, the LA Galaxy needed someone to liven up the attack—enter Jose Villarreal for Hector Jimenez in the 59th minute of play.
After coming on for Jimenez, Villarreal made an impression on the game just minutes later in the 66th minute of play. After dispossessing Dallas center back Matt Hedges, the 18-year-old midfielder went around goalkeeper Kevin Hartman before playing a final pass to Juninho for the game-winning goal. Tallying his first career assist was not the only bright spot for the youngster as he created several opportunities in the closing stages of the game.
With Keane suspended for Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League clash against the Puerto Rico Islanders and Landon Donovan still questionable with a left hamstring strain, Villarreal’s stellar performance could lead to further inclusion in the LA lineup later in the week.
DEFENSE HOLDS DALLAS SCORELESS; SCORES A GOAL
FC Dallas arrived at The Home Depot Center as one of the league’s hottest offenses, but struggled to get going against the Galaxy on Sunday.
After several dangerous chances for Dallas in the early stages of the first half, the Galaxy by and large neutralized FCD in the second half. Seminal to this performance was the Galaxy defense’s ability to pressure Dallas playmaker David Ferreira and prevent him from connecting passes in the final third.
In addition to shutting down the Dallas attack, one member of the Galaxy back line would get on the score sheet as well. Left back Todd Dunivant scored in the 84th minute as he helped create his own dangerous chance—with a little assistance from Robbie Keane and Michael Stephens—before beating Hartman for LA’s second goal.
PLAYOFF STYLE ATMOSHPERE
These two teams may not meet again, but Sunday’s match provided an important playoff-like experience for both sides.
The match was a decidedly physical battle between the two Western Conference rivals featuring hard challenges from both sides. LA’s 2-0 victory featured a total of five yellow cards—four for the Galaxy— and 24 fouls.
This type of atmosphere will likely become the norm for the Galaxy who will play six of their remaining seven league matches against Western Conference clubs in the thick of the postseason hunt.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider