SAN JOSE, Calif. – The LA Galaxy closed the preseason with a 3-2 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes in the first match at the sparkling new Avaya Stadium.
Jose Villarreal and Robbie Keane scored for the Galaxy, but a Galaxy own goal and strikes from JJ Koval and Adam Jahn gave San Jose the victory in front of 10,000 fans in “soft open” of their new stadium.
The Galaxy wrap up the 2015 preseason with a 5-2-0 record.
The match was sloppy from the start with both teams lacking sharpness in front of goal, but it was the Earthquakes who pulled ahead in the 42nd minute when Shea Salinas fired a cross that deflected off the arm of Omar Gonzalez and into the Galaxy net. The own goal gives Gonzalez the ignominious title of having scored the first goal in Avaya Stadium history.
Once the second half began, the Earthquakes controlled the tempo and added a second goal in the 58th minute when Chris Wondolowski knocked down a ball in the penalty area to a waiting JJ Koval who punched it in from close range.
Down two goals and with the Earthquakes sitting to protect the lead, the Galaxy began to push forward and found a goal in the 66th minute. Villarreal, who had been inserted moments earlier, was the recipient of a fine cross from Robbie Rogers, and confidently headed the ball past Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham to cut the lead to one. However, the Earthquakes soon cut short LA’s hopes for a comeback as Adam Jahn nodded in a Salinas corner to give San Jose their third goal of the afternoon just two minutes later.
Keane pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute when he finished a Stefan Ishizaki cross to give the Galaxy life in the dying moments. Down just one goal, the Galaxy threw numbers forward and nearly found the back of the net in the 87th minute when Alan Gordon had a chance at the doorstep, but saw his effort fly over the bar to end LA’s hopes of a rally.
Trialist Edson Buddle, and first team regulars Jaime Penedo, Baggio Husidic and Gyasi Zardes all missed out on the match due to injury. All three are expected to return to training on Monday ahead of the team’s season opener.
The Galaxy will open up the 2015 MLS regular season on Friday when they take on the Chicago Fire at StubHub Center.
LA Galaxy 2, San Jose Earthquakes 3
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 – 2:00 p.m. PT
Avaya Stadium – San Jose, California
SJ – Omar Gonzalez (own goal) 42’
SJ – JJ Koval (Wondolowski) 58’
LA – Jose Villarreal (Robbie Rogers) 66’
SJ – Adam Jahn (Shea Salinas) 68’
LA – Robbie Keane (Stefan Ishizaki) 82’
SJ – Fatai Alashe (caution) 53’
LA Galaxy: Brian Rowe; Dan Gargan, Leonardo (Todd Dunivant 45’), Omar Gonzalez, Robbie Rogers (Andre Auras 83’); Bradford Jamieson IV (Jose Villarreal 63’), Juninho, Kenney Walker (Rafael Garcia 71’), Stefan Ishizaki; Robbie Keane, Alan Gordon.
Substitutions not used: Jaime Penedo, Brian Perk.
San Jose Earthquakes: David Bingham, Marvell Wynne, Victor Bernardez, Paulo Renato (Ty Harden 73’), Shaun Francis, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi (Fatai Alashe 45’), JJ Koval (Adam Jahn 64’), Matias Perez Garcia (Khari Stephenson 81’), Sanna Nyassi (Cordell Cato 76’), Shea Salinas (Leandro Barrera 70’), Chris Wondolowski (Tommy Thompson 73’).
Substitutions not used: Bryan Meredith, Brandon Barklage, Mike Fucito, Cameron Iwasa.