CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy were just a minute away from a full three points in the SuperClasico against Chivas USA, but a late, uncharacteristic defensive breakdown left LA with only a point in a 1-1 draw.
WATCH: Jack McBean postgame reaction
The SuperClasico was its usual chippy self with referee Ricardo Salazar whistling 30 fouls, issuing four yellow cards and a red card to Joaquin Velasquez in the 40th minute of play. Although 10-man Chivas was resolute as the Galaxy pushed forward, a Jack McBean header that forced its way past the palm of Dan Kennedy gave LA the lead 83 minutes in.
RECAP: LA Galaxy 1, Chivas USA 1
However, Chivas USA stole a point late when Carlos Borja was able to break through the Galaxy defense and fire a cross to Carlos Alvarez, who tapped a shot past goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini sealing an atypical late game collapse for the Galaxy.
“That’s usually what we’re good at, the last few years— 1-0 wins, 2-1 wins, things like that, closing games out. We were just lackadaisical, a lot of us on that last play,” said defender A.J. DeLaGarza. “Obviously, it is not on purpose, guys could have made plays and didn’t.”
“That’s the lead I don’t think we’ve ever lost. It’s not like it is something that happens all the time,” said midfielder Mike Magee. “I [have not] had this feeling in a while.”
Despite playing with a man advantage for 50 minutes, LA scoring chances were few and far between against a cagey yet organized Chivas USA defense. Too often, the Galaxy found themselves controlling the run of play –as evidenced by their 61.8 to 38.2 edge in terms of possession – but unable to turn that possession into chances on frame, ending the game with just three shots on goal.
“I think that everyone was frustrated with the way that we’re playing. There were certain situations where we could have taken advantage of and we didn’t,” said Keane. “We just looked heavy legged or sloppy, whatever you want to call it.”
WATCH: Mike Magee postgame reaction
But fitness wasn’t the only factor for LA as Chivas USA’s reliance on hard fouls seemed to frustrate the Galaxy attackers. At the end of the night, Chivas led the match in fouls 22 to eight, but Magee admitted that LA must do better when responding to the cagey play.
“Everyone knew exactly what they were going to do and it was just they slowed they game down from the hop, they were taking cheap shots and trying to force their will that way,” said Magee. “They played exactly how we thought they would; we just played the opposite of how we thought we would.”
As LA look toward their next match on March 23 against the Colorado Rapids, the recipe to recover from the result is simple— “just win the next game” says Keane.
But after opening 2013 with a 2-0-2 record in all competitions and advancing to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals , Magee admitted that the performance was a wakeup call to the Galaxy as they look forward to league play and their upcoming series with Monterrey.
“I think so. I just think today was a test of character and we definitely failed,” said Magee. “In the first half we had all kinds of chances to play better and kind of match their fight and we didn’t really do it. Also, when we finally get the goal after all that, we have a couple minutes to kind of close out the game and we failed that as well.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com