Match Report: LA Galaxy top Club América 2-1 in Steven Gerrard’s debut

CARSON, Calif. – Steven Gerrard put forth a solid showing in his LA Galaxy debut, going 45 minutes as the Galaxy earned a 2-1 victory over Mexican side Club América in the International Champions Cup in front of 27,924 fans at StubHub Center.

Alan Gordon scored the winner for the Galaxy in the 80th minute while Robbie Keane tallied at the end of the first half for LA’s opener. Darwin Quintero scored the lone goal for Club América.

América put the Galaxy on the back heel from the opening whistle. It took the Mexican side just seven minutes to pull ahead when Quintero beat the Galaxy’s offside trap, and then fired a shot that went through the legs of LA ‘keeper Brian Rowe.

Just seven minutes after América pulled ahead, the Galaxy nearly equalized when a Juninho long ball sailed just out of reach of Keane, who quickly recovered, and sprayed the ball toward Sebastian Lletget. The 22-year-old found himself in space, but saw his attempt deflected by an América defender wide left of the post.

Gerrard nearly pulled the Galaxy level in the 22nd minute when a clever back heel by Jose Villarreal put the Englishman through on goal, but América’s goalkeeper Hugo Gonzalez made the stop from point blank range.

LA finally got their equalizer in the 45th minute when Robbie Keane brought down a Juninho long ball with a spectacular first touch. The Irishman dished the ball to his right, pulling a defender and a goalkeeper out of position, and then cleverly finished with his right foot.

The Galaxy made wholesale changes at the break and the youth-laden lineup began to take the match to the Mexican opposition. LA had their best chance in the 58th minute when David Romney had two chances to punch in a Kenney Walker free kick, but saw his attempts cleared. As successful as LA was in the second half, Las Agulias nearly pulled ahead in the 75th minute when goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton was called into action to stop a free kick from Michael Arroyo.

Gordon sealed the win for the Galaxy in the 80th minute when the hulking forward leapt over two defenders, and nodded a Raul Mendiola cross off the post, and into the net. 

The Galaxy will close out the ICC on July 21 when they face Spanish giants FC Barcelona at the Rose Bowl. Prior to that match, the Galaxy will take on Real Salt Lake in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday at Rio Tinto Stadium, and then back home against the San Jose Earthquakes in league play next Friday.

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