CARSON, Calif. – It wasn’t a loss, but it sure felt like one to the LA Galaxy.
The Galaxy drew Chivas USA 1-1 in their final match before their brief respite for the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage. The draw puts them in seventh place with 17 points after just 12 games this season.
After the game, Galaxy players recognized the missed opportunity to head into the World Cup break with a full head of steam.
“I think we expected to win the game,” said Landon Donovan. “I think we played well enough to probably win the game, but again, at the end we didn’t put enough pressure and create quite enough chances. Give them credit, they played, I think, the best game they played all year. You got to give them credit as well.”
"It’s another game where we lost two points,” LA Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza added. “We had to do better at the start of the game to put us in better position.”
The Galaxy stumbled out of the gate as the team looked disjointed defensively and after 20 minutes, the Rojiblancos took their first lead over the Galaxy since the 2012 season. Chivas’ goal came after a probing ball forward by the visitors took a deflection off Leonardo and fell perfectly for Erick Torres, who easily beat Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo from close range.
LA quickly recovered and found the back of the net just 15 minutes later when Gyasi Zardes nodded a Marcelo Sarvas cross past Dan Kennedy for the equalizer. Immediately after the goal, it appeared that the Galaxy were set to pull away, but LA were unable to break down a defensive Chivas side.
“It’s not easy as you said when they have those kind of numbers behind the ball it’s always going to be difficult,” said Donovan. “You need something different, something creative, where you’ve got to have a really good service in front of the goal. I think all those things let us down a little bit and when we had the chances in front of the goal, we didn’t make the most of it.”
Becoming more clinical will be top of the Galaxy’s to-do list once they return from the league’s brief World Cup break.
But before they return to business, they’ll have to put Sunday’s frustrating result behind them.
"Sometimes not winning feels like a loss against Chivas,” said Zardes. “All we can do is look forward, we can't look back. We are going to work extremely hard when we come back from break and just try to take it to them next time we play them. The goal is to win every other game.”