Los Angeles Soccer: Paulo Jr.
March, 27, 2011
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
The Galaxy was fortunate to concede only four goals in Saturday night's showdown with Real Salt Lake.
RSL (2-0-0) was ahead after 75 seconds, had a second before 10 minutes were gone and got a brilliant third before halftime en route to a 4-1 triumph.
Javier Morales scored twice -- a 10th-minute penalty kick and a bullet to the upper-right corner in the 41st -- and Brazilian youngster Paulo Jr. had a 68th-minute tally to make it 4-0.
Juan Pablo Angel scored his first goal for the Galaxy (1-1-1) in the 79th minute, a poacher's strike after David Beckham's heady free kick skipped past goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
A quick look at the Galaxy's loss:
BEST PLAYER: Morales, Paulo Jr. and Fabian Espindola took turns torturing the Galaxy defense. Morales was extraordinary at finding teammates, and there's also that great goal. Paulo Jr. and Espindola owned the Galaxy's backliners, penetrating nearly at will on passing sequences often reaching double digits.
But everybody in red deserves credit: RSL looked like Spain does against, well, everybody. It possessed almost continuously, weaving intricate passing patterns in and around the Galaxy players, who spend much of the game chasing the ball, usually without success.
At one point, late in the first half, RSL connected 25 successive passes. The ball was then cleared by the Galaxy, and RSL started anew, this time for 15 straight passes.
BEST GOAL: Morales' second, of course. The one where he caught L.A.'s defense sleeping on a throw-in, sprinted along the top of the box to track Chris Wingert's toss and hit the upper-right corner. Spectacular.