CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy began their 2016 preseason with a 2-1 victory with Armenian side FC Shirak at StubHub Center.
Jose Villarreal notched a brace for the Galaxy while Viulen Ayvazywan found the back of the net for the Armenian side. Galaxy offseason additions Dan Kennedy, Emmanuel Boateng, Mike Magee, Daniel Steres and Josh Turnley made their first appearances since joining the club.
Despite dominating possession, however, the Galaxy were unable to break the deadlock in the opening stanza. Although the Galaxy controlled the tempo, Kennedy, who was acquired in the offseason to be the club’s new No. 1 ‘keeper, was forced to come off his line several times to prevent Shirak from creating any scoring opportunities.
The woodwork denied a pair of Galaxy opportunities late in the first half as an Alan Gordon header was denied by the left post in the 33rd minute while Robbie Keane rattled the right post just minutes later. Shirak had an opportunity to pull ahead at the end of the first half, but Davit Hakobyan saw his attempt fly well wide of the frame.
Bruce Arena trotted a new youth-laden starting XI in the second half, and the youngsters immediately broke the deadlock. In the 54th minute, Ignacio Maganto delivered a clever ball to Oscar Sorto along the end line, who soon found Villarreal at the doorstep for the easy finish.
Down a goal, the visitors threw numbers forward against the young Galaxy defense. Shirak’s persistence paid off in the 75th minute when Edgar Malakyan intercepted a Steres pass and found Ayvazywan for the easy finish.
Los Angeles went ahead for good in the 80th minute when Raul Mendiola found Villarreal, who karate kicked the ball past Shirak goalkeeper Norayr Abrahamyan for the game-winner.