GALAXY: Jimenez attacks from the back

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
5:07
PM PT
CARSON -- Leonardo got a full half and Brian Perk played for the first time since preseason, substantial developments both, as the Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes traded penalty kicks in an MLS Reserve League game Tuesday.

Hector Jimenez
Andy Marlin/Getty ImagesHector Jimenez, normally a midfielder, was impressive at right back for the Galaxy in a reserve game against San Jose on Tuesday.

More significant, perhaps, was Hector Jimenez's performance in a new position.

The second-year winger from Bell Gardens was terrific as right back, teaming with Michael Stephens on the flank as L.A. dictated terms nearly the entire match before settling for a 1-1 draw on the Galaxy's training field at Home Depot Center.

Jimenez, who would be playing decent first-team time with a lot of Major League Soccer clubs but is caught behind L.A.'s deep, veteran midfield core, said he'd played as an outside back “toward the end of last year in a reserve game for a few minutes” but that this was otherwise a debut.

“I felt good,” he said. “I thought offensively I got involved a lot, it's just the defensive part, where I need to get used to checking the [restraining] line and stuff like that, but I thought I played good for the 90 minutes.”

Galaxy assistant coach Curt Onalfo, who runs the reserve side, agreed.

“The interesting thing sometimes in sport is when through injury and that sort of stuff you end up shifting things around, and sometimes all of a sudden something pops up that maybe you haven't seen. And I think that's the case.

“If you look at his game and you compare it to when he plays in midfield, he had just as much an influence going forward -- or maybe even more. The combination of Mikey Stephens coming inside and [Jimenez] overlapping, I thought was good. Would have liked to see more goals from it. It was a game where we possessed and had really the majority of possession, the majority of play. It's a game where you think you're going to get three points from.”

The Galaxy did dominate, but Quakes goalkeeper David Bingham -- Jimenez's old University of California teammate -- made big saves on Kyle Nakazawa, Rafael Garcia and Chad Barrett, twice, to keep the Galaxy from capitalizing on their dominance.

Bingham also stopped a Marcelo Sarvas penalty kick, but Quakes defender Josh Suggs -- the former L.A. Blues backliner whom San Jose just recalled from a loan deal to the NASL's Tampa Bay Rowdies -- stepped into the box before Sarvas shot, and referee Alejandro Mariscal awarded a do-over. Sarvas' second try ripped into the right-side netting ahead of a diving Bingham.

San Jose took the lead on Sercan Guvenisik's penalty kick in the 31st minute, after Suggs' cross into the box caught Dan Keat, playing in central defense, in the arm. Guvenisik had to convert twice -- his first shot was waved off after Quakes rookie Cesar Diaz Pizarro (from Chino Hills and UC Riverside) ran into the box ahead of the kick.

Sarvas' equalizer arrived five minutes later, after former UC Santa Barbara star Sam Garza took down Barrett just inside the San Jose box.

Leonardo, who remains on the MLS disabled list while working his way back from torn knee ligaments suffered nearly 13 months ago, played the first half. He had played just once this season, 11 minutes in a reserve friendly April 24 against L.A. Blues, and is hoping to be reintegrated into the first team later this month.

Rowe, who suffered ankle and sports hernia injuries while in camp with the U.S. under-23 national team in January, had played just once for the Galaxy, in the preseason finale against New England. He's returning from sports hernia surgery.

Neither needed to do much work.

“Just going through the motions and everything,” Perk said. “Didn't have much to do. ... It was good for me just to get 90 in.”

Said Onalfo: “It was great to get Leo out there for 45 minutes. He looked really good, and that's a real positive sign. He's really picked up his play and has looked closer to game form in the last couple of weeks, and I think you saw that in the first half. And Perk was real solid the whole game as well. Those were real positives that we take away from today.”

WORTH NOTING: Robbie Keane was officially selected Monday for Ireland's squad for the European Championship, which runs June 8-July 11 in Poland and the Ukraine. Keane, the Irish captain, who has 53 goals in 115 internationals, departs May 20 for the Irish camp -- the day following the season's first SuperClasico against Chivas USA -- and will miss from six to nine games, including as many as three U.S. Open Cup matches. The Irish, who will be based in Poland, have a difficult group assignment, battling Croatia, Italy and Spain for two quarterfinal berths. ... Joel Lindpere's goal in New York's 1-0 victory Saturday over the Galaxy is a finalist for MLS Goal of the Week. ... Nathan Smith, a Galaxy Academy player from Fresno, was on the bench for L.A. but did not play. MLS pool goalkeeper Brian Rowe, the UCLA All-American who has been Bill Gaudette's backup the past two first-team games, was Perk's backup Tuesday. ... Former UC Santa Barbara center back Kyle Kaveny, a guest player for San Jose, hit the crossbar with a second-half header; Barrett saw a goal late in the first half waved off after a foul. Quakes defender Brad Ring saved a goal, blocking a Garcia shot in the 65th minute. ... San Jose faces Chivas USA in a reserve game Monday in the Bay Area following the clubs' MLS meeting Sunday afternoon in Santa Clara. ... Former Galaxy midfielder Ian Russell guided the Quakes' reserves. Head coach Frank Yallop, the Galaxy boss is 2006-07, did not make the trip. ... Chivas midfielders Blair Gavin and Ben Zemanski were on hand to watch former University of Akron teammate Anthony Ampaiptakwong with San Jose.

  • SUMMARY
MLS RESERVE LEAGUE
Home Depot Center University Field 1 (Carson)
Galaxy 1, San Jose Earthquakes 1

SJ -- Sercan Guvenisik pen. 31
LA -- Marcelo Sarvas pen. 36

Galaxy: Brian Perk; Hector Jimenez, Leonardo (Andrew Boyens, 46), Dan Keat, Bryan Gaul; Michael Stephens, Marcelo Sarvas (Rafael Garcia, 57), Kenney Walker, Kyle Nakazawa (Jack McBean, 67); Pat Noonan (Jose Villarreal, 74), Chad Barrett. Unused subs: Brian Rowe, Nathan Smith.

San Jose Earthquakes: David Bingham; Brad Ring, Ike Opara (Kyle Kaveny, 46), Kareem Smith, Josh Suggs; Sam Garza, Jean Alexandre, Tressor Moreno (Anthony Ampaipitakwong, 46), Ellis McLoughlin; Cesar Diaz Pizarro (Cristian Cruz, 81), Sercan Guvenisik. Unused subs: Christian De Luna, Roberto Mendoza, Evan Newton.

Yellow cards: Alexandre 21, Bingham 36, Perk 57.

Referee: Alejandro Mariscal. Att.: c. 100.

West Division
1. Portland 2-1-0 (5-1 GF-GA) 6 points
2. San Jose 1-1-1 (3-3) 4
3. Galaxy 1-1-1 (4-5) 4
4. Seattle 1-2-1 (5-7) 4
5. Vancouver 1-1-1 (3-5) 4
6. Chivas USA 1-1-0 (4-3) 3

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