Galaxy opener: odds and ends
The Galaxy needed just a tick over five minutes to find the net in its Major League Soccer opener at Home Depot Center. Edson Buddle, whose productivity will have much to say about L.A.'s success this season, shook off New England's Pat Phelan in the goalmouth to powerfully head home Landon Donovan's free kick from the left wing.
It's 1-0 in the 34th minute.
Two Brazilians were in the starting lineup -- Leonardo, who was expected to step in for injured Gregg Berhalter in the center of the backline; and Juninho, who was seeing a lot of time in central midfield with the first 11 in training sessions -- and the third, Alex Cazumba replaced Eddie Lewis in the 26th minute. Lewis was hurt when clipped by Revolution defender Kevin Alston, who was cautioned, in the 18th minute.
New England is without Shalrie Joseph, the best player in MLS -- if he'd not played in competition for his native Grenada, he'd have been a fixture in the U.S. midfield the past half a dozen years -- who is sidelined by a hip flexor strain. The Revolution thought he'd be ready to go but wasn't about to push him. The last thing the Revs need is their most important player out for an extended time.
Still out is Taylor Twellman, one of five MLS players to score more than 100 goals. He was sidelined most of the past year because of concussion syndrome, just like Galaxy forward Alecko Eskandarian, who was forced to take a leave of absence during preseason preparations. Eskandarian may never return; Twellman is expected back this season, although there's no timeline for his return.