The LA Galaxy have at long last picked up a victory away from the friendly confines of StubHub Center.
The Galaxy defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 in their U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 match to earn their first victory away from Carson in 16 matches. Prior to the win in San Jose, the Galaxy had gone 10 months without a victory away from StubHub Center in all competitions since August 20, 2014 when they earned a dramatic 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
With the streak broken, the Galaxy were understandably jubilant after the match.
“We had a little bit of a celebration in the locker room after the game,” veteran midfielder Juninho joked. “It’s very important to come back in San Jose after a tough loss against them. We came here and did our job on the road. It feels very special.”
While Juninho was pleased, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena’s own celebration was a muted one.
“It’s not a big deal. We’re going to win games on the road,” Arena said with a shrug.
The Galaxy started a youthful squad that featured 10 players who have played for USL affiliate LA Galaxy and those young guns got the job done. It was Jose Villarreal who gave the Galaxy the advantage in the sixth minute with a fine finish off a Kenney Walker pass.
Although the Galaxy attack was lively throughout, LA found themselves defending the lead for much of the match, but thanks to clutch goalkeeping by Brian Rowe, and a few stops by a veteran defense, LA held on for the win.
“We created a few chances, we could have scored even more goals,” Villarreal said. “We just fought like bastards out there.”
For the Galaxy to advance in the competition, they’ll need to repeat the trick, as they’ll face Real Salt Lake on July 14 in the U.S. open Cup quarterfinals at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Regardless of whether the Galaxy pick up the win in Salt Lake, the Galaxy believe the win in San Jose provides a necessary confidence booster for the team away from home.
“It was huge, in my book,” Alan Gordon said. “It's the first road win we've had all year, and I know it's not in MLS play, but it's still a road win, it's still important, we're moving on to the quarterfinals. Anything we can do as reserves to help the team is a plus, and we did that tonight, and that's important for the whole squad.”