Match Report: LA Galaxy defeat Alashkert FC in closed-door preseason scrimmage, 2-0

VENTURA, Calif. – Giovani dos Santos and Jack McBean found the back of the net as the LA Galaxy defeated Alashkert FC 2-0 in a closed-door scrimmage at Ventura College on Saturday afternoon.  

Curt Onalfo’s starting group went 61 minutes in the contest against the reigning Armenian champions. New signing João Pedro made his first start of the preseason and registered an assist in the victory.

The Galaxy nearly took the lead in the 17th minute when Giovani dos Santos’ free kick from 20 yards away was parried away by goalkeeper Gevorg Kasparov. Just seven minutes later, Onalfo’s squad almost got on the board when Ema Boateng beat the defense and nearly found Jermaine Jones for the chance, only for Kasparov to stop the attempt.

Alashkert had a pair of opportunities to pull ahead midway through the first half when Artur Yedigaryan’s shot just missed the net in the 29th minute. Only six minutes later, the Armenians threatened again when Artak Yedigaryan’s chance was saved by Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe.

Dos Santos put the Galaxy ahead in the 40th minute when build-up play by Sebastian Lletget and Ari Lassiter resulted in a dish to Pedro who found the Mexican international for the easy finish from close range.

In the second half, the match opened up as the Armenian champions looked to equalize. Their finest opportunity came in the 57th minute when a breakaway was averted by Jelle Van Damme who stopped a striker at the doorstep to prevent a shot. Moments later, Rowe made a clutch stop to prevent a shot from inside the penalty area by Yedigaryan.

The Galaxy doubled their lead in the 85th minute when Bradford Jamieson IV sent a ball over the top to left back Josh Turnley. The defender then found Jose Villarreal in the penalty area who sent a cross to a waiting McBean who finished with a smashing header.

The Galaxy will play Real Salt Lake in a closed-door scrimmage on Tuesday and then face off against the Portland Timbers on Saturday in their final preseason contest at StubHub Center.  Los Angeles open the MLS regular season at home on March 4 against FC Dallas.

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