The LA Galaxy wrapped up their European trip with a victory as Finnish trialist Mika Vayrynen scored the only goal in a chippy 1-0 victory over Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin on Saturday.
The match served as a homecoming of sorts for Galaxy captain Robbie Keane who grew up just a stone's throw from the South Dublin Stadium. Keane went 89 minutes in the Galaxy preseason victory and exited the stadium to rousing cheers and a standing ovation.
The Galaxy controlled the match from the start and nearly pulled ahead in the opening minutes when a Stefan Ishizaki free kick was saved by Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper Barry Murphy. The Rovers ‘keeper came up big again with a save in the 20th minute to deny Alan Gordon who had a clear chance from close-range. Three minutes later, it was the Rovers’ back line that was needed to keep the Galaxy out of the net as Ishizaki saw his chipped shot cleared off the line.
The visitors finally broke through in the 44th minute when Vayrynen got on the end of a cross from Ishizaki and launched a shot that deflected off a defender and sailed into the Rovers’ net for the opener.
The goal is the first of the preseason for the Finnish international who has trained with the club during their time in Europe.
In the second half, the game began to deteriorate as both sides made frequent substitutions. Despite the home side pushing numbers forward, it was the Galaxy with the best attempts late.
However chances by Keane and Ignacio Maganto went begging as the Galaxy ended the match with a 1-0 result over the Tallaght side.
LA will now make the nearly 14-hour flight across the pond back to Los Angeles on Sunday as they head into their final week of preseason preparations. The Galaxy will then close the preseason next Saturday when they face off against the San Jose Earthquakes in the opening match at the sparkling new Avaya Stadium.