LAS VEGAS – Gyasi Zardes scored the game’s only goal as the LA Galaxy defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 in a preseason friendly at Las Vegas’ Cashman Field.
Newcomer Nigel de Jong made his preseason debut for the Galaxy, going 54 minutes in the victory. The Dutch midfielder is scheduled to be unveiled before the Southern California media at a press conference on Tuesday.
Starting a near first-choice lineup, Bruce Arena's Galaxy side set the tempo early on as they enjoyed the lion share of possession in the first half. When the Earthquakes did break forward, the Galaxy were able there to snuff out the danger with Jelle Van Damme repeatedly making timely stops throughout his 45-minute shift.
Los Angeles broke through in the 27th minute when Robbie Keane dribbled past a San Jose defender and found Zardes for an easy header at the back post. The goal was the first of the preseason for the Galaxy striker.
In the second half, LA continued to control the rhythm of the match with San Jose rarely testing the Galaxy’s back four. The Galaxy nearly doubled their lead in the 79th minute when Keane launched a shot from inside the penalty area that was parried away by San Jose 'keeper David Bingham.
Sebastian Lletget made his preseason debut for the Galaxy after coming in the 61st minute. The 23-year-old has missed much of training camp with a groin injury. Lletget nearly made an immediate impact in the 69th minute when he dribbled past two Quakes defenders on the endline but was unable to find a teammate in the box.
The Galaxy will complete the preseason next Wednesday when they host the Seattle Sounders in a closed-door scrimmage. Los Angeles will then turn their attention to the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal first leg against Santos Laguna on Feb. 24 at StubHub Center.