A wild, wild game in the rain took place on Tuesday between Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy and Antonio Mohamed’s Club Tijuana. There were goals, there were cards, and there were ejections. In the end, the Galaxy got their revenge on the Xoloitzcuitles de Caliente, 6-2, at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
Here are six things we learned from Tuesday night’s preseason friendly between the Galaxy and Xolos.
1. Robbie Keane plays with a fire in his belly
Robbie Keane is the captain of the Galaxy until Landon Donovan returns to the side in March, and he showed the type of leadership and class that has made him a fan favorite. In the fourth minute of play, Keane was able to create space and send one past Tijuana goalkeeper Miguel Garcia to open the scoring. Look for Keane’s production to be a critical factor in the Galaxy’s fortunes this season because with David Beckham calling it quits at the end of 2012, it’s all on Keane to make 2013 his year in a Galaxy shirt.
2. Welcome back, Leonardo
Defender Leonardo has been on the comeback trail after suffering an injury last season. On Tuesday, he took the next step towards securing a spot on the starting XI in March with an unassisted goal in the 36th minute of play. It wasn’t all him, though; Marcelo Sarvas helped orchestrate the sequence that helped Leonardo make it 2-0 Los Angeles.
3. The arrival of Bryan Gaul
If there was ever one man of the match for this game, it has to be Bryan Gaul. In the second half, Gaul received a delivery from Michael Stephens and finished it in the 65th minute of play. Not to be outdone, in the only minute of second-half stoppage time, Gaul delivered the icing on the cake with an unassisted goal.
4. Brian Perk’s CCL warmup a success
Galaxy backup goalkeeper Brian Perk put in 64 minutes of playing time and was stellar, making a couple of saves along the way. Perk may be needed for LA’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal tie with Herediano, so putting in a good performance against a CCL-caliber opponent like Tijuana (albeit the reserves) is very important.
5. More young guns strike for Los Angeles
The second half saw the young faces of the Galaxy do their share, including Greg Cochrane, who delivered an assist on the 80th-minute goal by Hector Jimenez; Charlie Rugg, who showed flashes of potention in 30 minutes of action; Kofi Opare, who will need some time to ease into the team as a member of the Galaxy Reserves; and Jack McBean, who made up for his 77th-minute yellow card with an unassisted goal seven minutes later. Great teams have great depth, and LA has it.
6. Club Tijuana’s reserves will be lucky to break through
As for the reserve side that Club Tijuana fielded, there were a couple of players that could be starters for the Xolos one day, including Luis Garcia Carmona and Bruno Piceno. However, many of these players have not seen action in Liga MX and after their performance on Tuesday against the defending MLS Cup champs, it’s safe to say that it won’t happen for a while.
LA Galaxy 6, Club Tijuana 2
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
Attendance – 12,000
LA – Robbie Keane (Unassisted) 4’
LA – Leonardo (Unassisted) 36’
LA – Bryan Gaul (Michael Stephens) 65’
TJ – Luis Garcia Carmona (Bruno Piceno) 69’
LA – Hector Jimenez (Greg Cochrane) 80’
TJ – Bruno Piceno (Unassisted) 83’
LA – Jack McBean (Unassisted) 84’
LA – Bryan Gaul (Unassisted) 91+
LA – Bryan Gaul (Yellow Card) 18’
TJ – Oliver Ortiz (Yellow Card) 24’
TJ – Juan P. Santiago (Yellow Card) 34’
LA – A.J. DeLaGarza (Yellow Card) 41’
LA – Rafael Garcia (Red Card) 47’
TJ – Luis Trujillo (Red Card) 72’
TJ – Luis Garcia Carmona (Yellow Card) 73’
LA – Jack McBean (Yellow Card) 77’
LA Galaxy: Brian Perk (Brian Rowe 64’); A.J. DeLaGarza (Oscar Sorto 61’), Omar Gonzalez (Kofi Opare 64’), Leonardo (Mathaus Ferreira 46’), Bryan Gaul; Sean Franklin (Hector Jimenez 46’), Marcelo Sarvas (Rafael Garcia 46’), Juninho (Michael Stephens 46’), Colin Clark (Greg Cochrane 46’); Mike Magee (Jack McBean 46’), Robbie Keane(C) (Charlie Rugg 61’).
Subs Not Used: Todd Dunivant.
Club Tijuana: Miguel Garcia; Luis A. Garcia, Juan P. Santiago (Luis Trujillo 71’), Miguel Almazan, Greg Garza (Edgar Villegas 46’); Oliver Ortiz, Antonio Madueña (Esteban Rodriguez 68’), Alejandro Guido (Manuel Herrera 46’); Bruno Piceno, Raul Nava, Alfredo Moreno(C) (Luis Garcia Carmona 46’).
Subs Not Used: Sergio Vega; Jesus Hernandez.
Statistics/Estadísticas Galaxy Xolos
Goal Attempts/Tiros Totales 18 (8) 8 (2)
Shots on Target /Tiros al Arco 10 (5) 4 (0)
Saves/Atajadas 2 (0) 4 (3)
Fouls/Faltas 16 (8) 7 (4)
Corner Kicks/Tiros de Esquina 8 (5) 4 (1)
Offsides/Fuera de Lugar 1 (0) 5 (4)
Referee: Juan Guzman
Referee’s Assistants: Apolinar Mariscal, Eduardo Mariscal
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal