The LA Galaxy secured the MLS Reserve League’s West Division championship in convincing fashion on Friday morning, beating the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves 6-0 at The Home Depot Center. The win gives LA a 6-3-1 record for a club record 19 points on the season, pushing them past San Jose Earthquakes for first place in the division.
After weathering an early chance that saw Brian Perk forced to save at the feet of Etienne Barbara inside the game’s first five minutes, LA took a 1-0 lead through Pat Noonan in the game’s 8th minute of play. Noonan, who was wearing the captain’s armband for Curt Onalfo’s squad, raced between the Vancouver center back and collected a pass from Rafael Garcia and beat Vancouver goalkeeper Brian Sylvestre from the center of the box for what would end up as the game-winning goal.
The Galaxy continued to threaten the Vancouver goal throughout the first half. Edson Buddle had two goals called back by the offside flag. Both Hector Jimenez and Noonan had good looks at goal, but fired their shots right into the arms of Sylvestre.
Vancouver went close to equalizing just before the break through second year forward Omar Salgado. The No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, Salgado held off a Galaxy defender at the top of the 18-yard box, turned and chipped a shot over the head of LA goalkeeper Brian Perk. The shot floated past Perk, but it hit the crossbar squarely and was eventually cleared by the Galaxy defense.
After a sometimes tight opening 45 minutes, the Galaxy broke out after the break and scored five more times to turn the close, 1-0 lead at halftime into a club record 6-0 victory.
Tommy Meyer replaced David Junior Lopes at halftime and the defender got in on the attack quickly, making the score 2-0 in the 55th minute with his first Reserve League goal of the year. Meyer was quickest to react to the rebound of an Andrew Boyens header that hit off the crossbar and placed a right footed shot into the corner of the net to double the LA lead.
The Galaxy got their third goal less than 10 minutes later on a powerful shot from Rafael Garcia in the 63rd minute. Bryan Gaul started the attack with a long, diagonal ball from midfield toward Noonan at the back post. The veteran cushioned a header back into the center of the area for the charging Garcia to drive into the back of the net, making the score 3-0.
After hitting the crossbar earlier in the half, Boyens got his second goal in as many games, heading a Kenney Walker freekick in at the back post, extending the Galaxy lead to 4-0.
Jack McBean closed out the scoring with a pair of goals in the games final minutes to give him a team-high five on the season. McBean, who came on as a halftime substitute for Buddle, scored his first and the team’s fifth in the 88th minute when he took a pass from Raul Mendiola and fired a hard shot that, with the help of a deflection, beat Sylvestre.
McBean and Mendiola combined again for the final goal in the 91st minute. Michael Stephens and current Academy midfielder Drew Murphy linked up down the left sideline before Stephens sent Mendiola through toward the endline. Mendiola found McBean crashing to the near post for the close-range finish to put LA ahead 6-0 just moments before the final whistle.
LA Galaxy 6, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0
Friday, October 12, 2012
The Home Depot Center – San Jose, Calif.
LA – Pat Noonan (Rafael Garcia) 8’
LA – Tommy Meyer (Unassisted) 55’
LA – Rafael Garcia (Pat Noonan, Bryan Gaul) 63’
LA – Andrew Boyens (Kenney Walker) 70’
LA – Jack McBean (Raul Mendiola) 88’
LA – Jack McBean (Raul Mendiola, Michael Stephens) 91+
LA – Rafael Garcia (Yellow Card) 53’
LA Galaxy: Brian Perk, Bryan Jordan (Oscar Sorto^ 68’), Andrew Boyens, David Junior Lopes (Tommy Meyer 46’), Bryan Gaul; Hector Jimenez, Kenney Walker, Rafael Garcia (Drew Murphy^ 85’), Michael Stephens; Pat Noonan (Raul Mendiola^ 74’), Edson Buddle (Jack McBean 46’).
Subs Not Used: Brian Rowe.
^ - Galaxy Academy Players
Vancouver Whitecaps FC: Brian Sylvestre; Greg Klazura, Martin Bonjour, Jun Marques Davidson, Sam Adekugbe^; Russell Teibert, Michael Nanchoff, Tiago Ulisses, Jacob Lensky* (Jackson Farmer^ 63’); Etienne Barbara (Kianz Froese^, 68’), Omar Salgado.
Subs Not Used: Brody Huitema^
^ - Whitecaps FC Academy Players
* - Whitecaps FC Guest/Training Player
Referee: Juan Guzman
Referee's Assistants: Cesar Calderon and Omar Meza
4th Official: Jesus Cisneros