COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Leave it to LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena to sum up his team’s 1-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids perfectly and succinctly.
“We just blew this game, there’s no excuses for us,” said the Galaxy manager. “We should’ve won this game or very least get a point.”
Arena’s words may seem harsh at face value. LA lost by the slimmest of margins – one goal – and they dominated the stat sheet, leading in possession, shots, and corners. In the final third, however, the Galaxy couldn’t make their statistical advantage count.
In the opening minutes, LA had two point-blank attempts that seemed destined for goal cleared off the line by the Rapids. In the 20th minute, Colorado made the Galaxy pay for their wasted chances by scoring the go-ahead goal off a fine chip by Vicente Sanchez.
LA answered back with several good chances that were either sent wide or bounced off of the woodwork. Even a 63th-minute penalty kick from Galaxy captain Robbie Keane rolled harmlessly past Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin’s left post, leaving LA empty-handed.
“We certainly didn’t deserve the ending of the game, I don’t think. I think that’s probably one of our worst performances certainly for a long time,” said Keane. “We looked very sluggish and didn’t look like we could get the ball down and pass…. Sometimes you can have possession just for the sake of having it, so there was no penetration. We just looked very, kind of lackadaisical. It was a poor performance and probably one of the worst since I’ve been here anyway.”
As if the night weren’t already bad enough for LA, starting center back Omar Gonzalez had to be subbed off at halftime after suffering a left knee injury.
Still, it wasn’t all doom and gloom following the frustrating defeat. LA did have their fair share of attempts, mostly courtesy of Landon Donovan, who was placed in the midfield due to an MCL injury to Marcelo Sarvas. Donovan was the most active in the attack, but fired several attempts wide including a chance in the 40th minute that beat Irwin but sailed across the goal mouth.
“It’s one of those nights that it’s hard to think that we didn’t get something out of the game. We weren’t great, but we created plenty of chances,” said Donovan. “If you looked at the stat sheet, you’d say that we’re probably the team that won, but we didn’t finish our chances and got punished.”
After the tough defeat, Keane admitted that they’ll simply need to dust themselves off as they look ahead to their trip to the Pacific Northwest to face the Portland Timbers.
“For me, myself, I wasn’t good enough and I’ll take responsibility for that. I take it on the chin, but there are 11 guys that could say the same thing,” said the Irish striker. “It wasn’t good enough, but it’s about how we bounce back. There’s no point in crawling under a tree and hiding, but heads up and get on with it on Monday.”