GALAXY: Keane opens tour with a win
The Galaxy's 50th game of 2011 had much in common with a lot of the first 49. They scored early, played some decent soccer and ground out a 1-0 victory -- their 13th of the year -- to start their postseason tour of Asia and Australia.
Robbie Keane provided all the offense L.A. needed in an often entertaining triumph over Indonesia's national team in a Jakarta friendly.
L.A. trotted out the same lineup from the MLS Cup title-game victory over Houston, made 11 substitutions -- one for injury -- and kept the crowd at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium happy by leaving David Beckham on the field into the 85th minute.
The victory leaves L.A. with a 29-9-12 record for the year, including ticketed friendlies, and 13-1 when the final score is 1-0. Josh Saunders and Brian Perk, both called upon to make important saves, combined for the club's 23rd shutout.
Beckham was the big draw, of course, and he went deeper than any other L.A. starter although the game contract called on him to play merely one half. He nearly gave the audience what it most wanted, putting a free kick just beyond the upper-left corner in the 76th minute.
He also gave Frankie Hejduk an open look at the right post six minutes into the second half, but the right back badly mishit the volley.
Keane scored the goal in the 14th minute after Adam Cristman cleated a ricocheting ball back above the penalty spot, and L.A. could have doubled it through Juninho and Sean Franklin -- both went wide -- or on a sequence in the 42nd in which Franklin hit the left post and Cristman ripped the rebound off the crossbar.
The Indonesians, with eight starters from the full national team pool and five from the U-23 team that won the silver medal at the just-completed South East Asian Games, had speed and skill -- winger Andik Vermansyah's runs forward impressed -- but couldn't match the Galaxy physically or tactically.
The insertion of forward Bambang Pamungkas, Indonesia's all-time caps (83) and goals (37) leader, sparked the best of the Merah Putih's attack. He put a 30-yard free kick just wide in the 79th minute, and Perk kept the shutout with a near-post stop on a free kick deflected on target by Miguel Lopez in the 89th minute and by parrying Oktavianus Maniani's free kick in stoppage.
Juninho exited in the 31st minute, a few minutes after colliding with Indonesian goalkeeper Andritany Ardhiyas while sliding to get to a Cristman feed.
Jovan Kirovski, who spent most of his career as a withdrawn forward, played the final 25 minutes at center back, where he saw time during the MLS Reserve League season.
Newport Beach teen Jack McBean played the final half-hour, just his third appearance for the first team and his second in a friendly. He picked up his first first-team yellow card in the 83rd minute.
The Galaxy head to Manila for a friendly Saturday against the Philippines' national team, then to Australia for Tuesday's tour finale against the Melbourne Victory.
Gelora Bung Karno Stadium (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Indonesia 0, Galaxy 1
LA -- Robbie Keane (Adam Cristman) 14
Indonesia: Andritany Ardhiyas (Kurnia Mega Hermansyah, 46); Zulkifli Suykur (Hasim Kipur, 73), Hamka Hamzah, Victor Igbonefo (Gunawan Dwi Cahyo, 77), Diego Robbie Michiels (Mohammad Ilham, 65); Andik Vermansyah (Oktavianus Maniani, 52), Firman Utina (Dirga Lasut, 62), Egi Melgiansyah (Ahmad Bustomi, 46), Muhammed Ridwan; Patrich Wanggai (Bambang Pamungkas, 62), Greg Nwokolo.
Galaxy: Josh Saunders (Brian Perk, 46); Sean Franklin (Frankie Hejduk, 46), Omar Gonzalez (Dasan Robinson, 46), A.J. DeLaGarza (Jovan Kirovski, 66), Todd Dunivant (Bryan Jordan, 46); Landon Donovan (Paolo Cardozo, 46), David Beckham (Dan Keat, 85), Juninho (Michael Stephens, 31), Mike Magee (Hector Jimenez, 56); Adam Cristman (Miguel Lopez, 46), Robbie Keane (Jack McBean, 61). Unused subs: Gregg Berhalter, Dustin McCarty, Ryan Thomas.
Yellow cards: Gonzalez 21, Keane 25, Magee 29, McBean 83, Cardozo 84.
Referee: Faulur Rosy. Att.: NA.