CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy continued their preseason preparations on Saturday by battling a new type of opponent, K-League side Gangwon FC to a scoreless draw.
LA dominated possession for much of the first half with the Koreans presenting an organized shape that proved difficult to break down. The best chances of the first half came in the 27th minute when a Juninho free kick set up a corner that eventually fell for Mike Magee, who fired the chance over the bar.
In the second half, the Koreans received more of the run of play, forcing Carlo Cudicini to make a pair of saves late. Gangwon nearly stole a win late however, when Kim Eun Jung rattled the post with a shot off a corner kick, but Cudicini collected the rebound preventing any further danger.
The full recap from the match can be found on LAGalaxy.com
A few notes from the match…
*The Galaxy started the match in the following formation:
*For the second straight match, Jack McBean and Mike Magee started up top with Robbie Keane still away attending to a family death in Ireland. With Landon Donovan still away from the club, it is looking increasingly likely that Magee may be the Galaxy's first choice strike partner alongside Keane once the season begins. However, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that once the team is fully healthy, Magee will be used as a midfielder rather than as a forward.
*The match was the first time that A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez started together in central defense this preseason.
*Throughout the 90 minutes, Gangwon’s organization provided a test for LA. I spoke to Gonzalez and Magee afterward to get their perception of how facing a new style of play benefited the Galaxy.
*In the 47th minute, a Juninho free kick from nearly 20 yards out made contact with the head of Gangwon’s Denis Laktionov. The Gangwon midfielder was carted off the field by paramedics. Play resumed after an eight minute delay.
*LA ended the match with the following lineup on the field:
*Five players (Cudicini, Gonzalez, Sean Franklin, Todd Dunivant, and Mike Magee) went the full 90 minutes.
*Arena offered the following comments on the match: “It was a good exercise for us with the heat; it was a little challenging on guys. We pushed five guys to go 90 minutes for the first time this year and it was good. It was a little bit warmer than we thought it would be. I thought in the first half, we looked pretty sharp and moved pretty well. In the second half as we got fatigued, the quality started to disappear a bit, but that’s okay and it’s all part of the exercise of moving guys forward individually and as a team.”