Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Galaxy, Timbers play to a draw
By Scott French
A little more than a week into ball work, and Galaxy coach Bruce Arena is satisfied, more or less, with how things are proceeding. His team was hit-and-miss in Tuesday afternoon's scrimmage against the Portland Timbers at the Home Depot Center's track and field stadium, a 1-1 draw that saw L.A. trying different combinations and looking at players in new positions.
Uruguayan rookie midfielder Paolo Cardozo, whose slight build and baby face belie his technical gifts on the field, scored again for the Galaxy, taking a feed from Bryan Jordan (Temple City/Temple City HS) and firing to the upper-left corner to provide the lead less than two minutes into the second half. Uganda national-teamer Brian Umony, on trial with Portland, knocked home a loose ball following a corner kick three minutes later.
"I think we've learned that this is preseason, and we have a long way to go," Arena said after the game. "But today's still a good exercise. Our passing and our ability to create width in the attack in the first half of this game was not good. So those are things to learn from. That's what the preseason's for."
Cardozo also scored in the Galaxy's 7-1 mauling of Loyola Marymount on Friday, converting a second-half penalty kick. Portland, which was playing its first game as an MLS team against MLS opposition, tied the Ventura County Fusion, 1-1, Friday night in its first preseason match.
MOVING AROUND: Arena and his staff tweaked the close-to-first-choice lineup they used in the first half against LMU, teaming Michael Stephens (rather than Chris Birchall) in central midfield with Juninho and pairing Omar Gonzalez with Leonardo in central defense, with Frankie Hejduk on the right and A.J. DeLaGarza on the left. Starting keeper Donovan Ricketts made his preseason debut.
Sean Franklin, L.A.'s No. 1 right back, played in central defense next to Gregg Berhalter in the second of two 45-minute halves. Jordan, who played up top in the second half against LMU, was the right midfielder in the second half, with Mike Magee teaming with Adam Cristman up top.
"We're finding the right combinations of players ...," Arena said. "We'll keep moving players around, trying to solve the best way for us to play as a group and continue to move forward."
THE GOOD, THE BAD ...: The Galaxy dictated play throughout the first half but produced few chances from their possession. Chad Barrett, whose propensity for missing the target has kept him out of the discussion of top MLS forwards, missed three times, once when left one-on-one with Timbers goalkeeper Adin Brown and again when a superb Landon Donovan pass carved up Portland's defense.
Juan Pablo Angel also showed little, preferring to tinker on the right flank than sniff out chances in front. He had one outstanding opportunity but headed wide at the right post from DeLaGarza's cross.
Argentine midfielder Miguel Lopez, getting his second start, was red-carded 25 minutes in after cleating Timbers right back Steve Purdy in the thigh. The ejection might have been severe, and as both teams wanted to play 11-on-11, Cardozo came on to keep L.A. at full strength.
Cardozo and Jordan, attacking from the flanks, were the Galaxy's most dangerous players in the second half, and goalkeeper Josh Saunders, also playing the final 45, was very good.
UP NEXT: The Galaxy on Thursday takes on the San Jose Earthquakes, who lost, 1-0, Monday to Chivas USA, then heads to Arizona on Sunday for nine days, with exhibitions slated against Colorado and twice against Vancouver.
THE LINEUPS:Donovan Ricketts; Frankie Hejduk, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, A.J. DeLaGarza; Landon Donovan, Juninho, Michael Stephens, Miguel Lopez (Paolo Cardozo, 27); Chad Barrett, Juan Pablo Angel.
Second half: Josh Saunders; Dustin McCarty, Sean Franklin, Gregg Berhalter, Ryan Thomas; Bryan Jordan, Chris Birchall, Jovan Kirovski, Paolo Cardozo; Mike Magee, Adam Cristman.
First half: Adin Brown; Steve Purdy, Eric Brunner, David Horst, Rodney Wallace; Jeremy Hall, James Marcelin, Freddie Braun, Ryan Pore; Darlington Nagbe, Eddie Johnson.
Second half: Jake Gleeson; Josh Cameron, Mamadou Danso, Kevin Goldthwaite, Chris Taylor; Doug DeMartin, Travis McManus, Rodrigo Lopez, Kalif Alhassan; Brian Umony, Jorge Perlaza.
BECKHAM'S EXTENSION: The Galaxy confirmed Tuesday that David Beckham's training stint in London with Tottenham will continue until Feb. 24. Tottenham last week said Beckham would be traveling Wednesday to L.A., in time to make the trek to Arizona, and Arena last week said Beckham would return in February but did not have a date.
Asked why Beckham would remain in England another two weeks, Arena said: "It was something we agreed to weeks ago, and that's the way we decided to do it."
WORTH NOTING: Rookie midfielder Daniel Keat, a New Zealand national teamer taken in the supplemental draft out of Dartmouth, is sidelined because of a heel injury. Starting left back Todd Dunivant (coming off sports-hernia surgery) is practicing, but he did not dress for the game. ... Norwegian forward John Carew told English media he turned down an offer from the Galaxy to go to Stoke City on loan from fellow English Premier League club Aston Villa. ... UC Irvine product Corey Attaway (Chino/Chino HS), a supplemental draft selection, has been released from the Seattle Sounders' preparations.
GALAXY 2011 PRESEASON
Feb. 4 vs. Loyola Marymount at HDC: W 7-1 (goals by Birchall 2, Angel, Berhalter, Juninho, Kirovski, Cardozo)
Feb. 8 vs. Portland Timbers at HDC: T 1-1 (Cardozo)
Feb. 10: vs. San Jose Earthquakes at HDC
Feb. 16: vs. Colorado Rapids at Phoenix
Feb. 20: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps at Phoenix
Feb. 22: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps at Phoenix
March 9: vs. UCLA at HDC