CARY, N.C. – The LA Galaxy threw the kitchen sink at the Carolina RailHawks in their U.S. Open Cup match on Tuesday night. And Carolina caught it.
Boasting a squad that included Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, the LA Galaxy out-possessed and out-shot the RailHawks — by a total of 31 to six — but were nonetheless knocked out of the Open Cup after a 105th-minute goal from Daniel Jackson sealed a 1-0 win for the hosts. It is the third time Carolina, who will now host a quarterfinal matchup with FC Dallas, have eliminated LA from the tournament in as many years.
RailHawks goalkeeper Scott Goodwin played the hero in the victory as the second-year professional made eight saves to keep Carolina alive until Jackson’s goal sealed the Galaxy's fate in extra time.
With their dreams of the Open Cup dashed and a return to MLS action looming on the horizon, Keane believes that the defeat to the NASL club should serve as a wakeup call for a Galaxy team that has been inconsistent at best this year.
“We needed a reality check. We're probably not as good as everyone thinks that we are,” Keane told reporters after the 120-minute defeat. “We need to start getting back to simple, and need a lot more goals as well from everybody. Obviously the RailHawks ‘keeper played well tonight, pulled off some saves. I’m certain we should’ve had a few goals, there is no question but if we don’t score, than we need to make sure that we don’t concede.”
But Donovan, who entered the match in the 55th minute and generated several opportunities to find the back of the net, disagreed with Keane’s assessment on the magnitude of the loss.
“I think 99 times out of 100, we win that game. They had everything go their way tonight. They played well, they defended well, their goalie had one of the best performances I’ve ever seen, and they got the goal that they needed,” said Donovan. “We can’t fault our effort. We gave everything, and everyone’s seen or has been part of games like that in soccer. It’s a crazy, cruel game sometimes and that’s the way it went tonight.”
There will be little time for reflection for the Galaxy. With MLS play set to resume, the team must now turn their focus to their Saturday matchup against the San Jose Earthquakes at Stanford Stadium.
“Well, we have depth this year; we’re going to have to assess guys after the trip,” said Associate head coach Dave Sarachan. “It’s all part of the process. I think we are going to have some sore bodies no question so we have to then see where we are at.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com.