Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy finish the month of March unbeaten after a 2-2 draw with Ryan Nelsen’s Toronto FC at BMO Field on Saturday. This result may be a problem when they return to CONCACAF Champions League action against CF Monterrey.
LA are now 2-0-2 (eight points) and should be floating in the middle of the Major League Soccer Western Conference standings for another week. Here are six things we learned from Saturday’s contest between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Toronto FC.
1. Mike Magee strikes for Los Angeles
In the 16th minute, after the Galaxy were playing at a snail’s pace, midfielder Marcelo Sarvas found Mike Magee on the left side for his fifth of the season to make it 1-0 Los Angeles. Magee nearly made it a brace in the 19th minute of play but lifted his attempt.
2. Here comes Robert Earnshaw
In the 29th minute, Robert Earnshaw, Toronto’s leading goalscorer, took advantage of a mistake by Leonardo in clearing the ball to bring the match on level terms. It was a horrible gaffe by Leonardo, but it was also compounded by a similarly awful clearance attempt by goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, who went well off his line.
3. LA dominates the stats at halftime
The Los Angeles Galaxy dominated a number of vital match statistics, including attempts on goal (eight to two), shots on target (three to one), duels won (27 to 24) and possession (53.3 percent to 46.7 percent).
4. A massive goal from Toronto in the second half
In the 78th minute, TFC Academy product Jonathan Osorio played the role of the super sub for Toronto FC, slicing past Omar Gonzalez on the left side, creating a chance from a very tight angle to give the Reds a 2-1 lead.
5. Jose VIllareal equalizes late for the Galaxy
This has a been a game where the young guns have shined. In the second minute of stoppage time, Jose Villareal delivered a sensational overhead volley to put the match on level terms. Homegrown players like Osorio and Villareal delivering for their respective teams and opening their scoring accounts in the process has to be a good sign for the future of Major League Soccer in general.
6. Robbie Keane’s absence a major factor in the outcome
But in spite of the youthful talent taking center stage at BMO Field, one sobering factor remains for Los Angeles: Robbie Keane. The Republic of Ireland international sustained a calf injury and way unavailable to play today. Had he been in the starting lineup, the outcome certainly would have changed in the Galaxy’s favor. Nothing to take away from Landon Donovan, who got a 34-minute workout on the pitch, but Robbie Keane’s influence made this contest a lot closer than many pundits originally thought.