Three Points: LA Galaxy fall to D.C. United on the road

WASHINGTON – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano provides his Three Points to the Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to D.C. United. The loss was the Galaxy’s first defeat of the 2015 MLS regular season.  

GALAXY CAN’T CAPITALIZE ON THEIR CHANCES IN THE CAPITAL

The LA Galaxy were seconds away from picking up a point at RFK Stadium before conceding a late winner to D.C. United’s Chris Pontius, but the 2014 MLS Cup champions could have had a point—if not all three—had their finishing been crisper on Saturday night.

Although the match took place practically a continent away from StubHub Center, it was the Galaxy who were the more aggressive side at RFK as they put the onus on a United team that seemed content to strike on the counter. Stepping up for the departed Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes, forwards Alan Gordon and Jose Villarreal repeatedly tested the host’s backline, forcing D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid into action. However, time-and-time again, Hamid played the hero as the United ‘keeper made five saves against the Galaxy.

For all the success of Gordon and Villarreal, LA’s finest opportunity of the evening came from Stefan Ishizaki who rattled the post in the 67th minute.

LATE GOAL PROVES COSTLY

Bruce Arena’s men banged on the door for 90-plus minutes, but ultimately, it was a late goal by D.C. United that sealed all three points for the home side.

In the dying moments of the game, the Galaxy were mere seconds from a valuable point on the road before Nick DeLeon used an impressive bit of skill to get pass Robbie Rogers and launch a cross to a waiting Chris Pontius, who got past Dan Gargan to head home the winner. However, following the match, Arena was incensed, not because of the late goal, but what happened moments prior as United striker Conor Doyle appeared to foul LA goalkeeper Brian Rowe while going up for a header. Had the foul been called, LA might have gotten out of RFK Stadium with a point rather than a defeat.

Saturday night’s defeat to D.C. United was the LA Galaxy’s first loss to United since 2008, snapping an unbeaten run that spanned 10 games.

GRITTY PERFORMANCE COMES UP SHORT

The LA Galaxy locker room was understandably a little shaken after their defeat to D.C. United, but Saturday’s result provided the team with several positives heading into the second month of the season.

The result may have been frustrating, but the Galaxy may have found their midfield tandem for the foreseeable future as Mika Vayrynen and Juninho put in a tidy showing in the center of the park. The brightest star on the evening, however, was the aforementioned Villarreal who put in a strong showing alongside Gordon up top as well as out wide in the late stages of the match.

Even though a short-handed Galaxy side was mere seconds away from a result, they’ll return Robbie Keane, Jaime Penedo and Gyasi Zardes from international duty for next week’s match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com.