Sep 14, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; D.C. United midfielder/forward Chris Pontius (13) celebrates with defender James Riley (2) and midfielder Lewis Neal (24) and midfielder Nick DeLeon (18) after scoring a goal against the Los Angeles Galaxy during the first half at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. Mandatory Credit: Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. D.C. United: 6 Things We Learned

Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy cannot hang on to leads. It’s a time-honored fact, and it comes through defenders failing to defend, and the inability to win the last 15 minutes. You talk about results that will go down in infamy, and you have to talk about LA’s 2-2 draw with Ben Olsen’s D.C. United at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.

This result is poor timing for the Galaxy because next week, they host Isidro Metapan and the Seattle Sounders, and you can imagine that those two teams smell blood in the water. Here are six things we learned from one of the worst performances from the Los Angeles Galaxy this season. Not THE WORST, mind…

1. A goal up and a man down for LA

Early on in the first half, a chance from Robbie Keane in the second minute was collected by D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid. But in the early going, it was a ball possession battle, but Keane opened up the scoring in the seventh minute of play on a soft dribbler that should have been saved by Hamid.

The problem for LA early on was that defender A.J. DeLaGarza landed awkwardly on the turf and may have injured his left elbow, forcing Sean Franklin to come in 10 minutes into the match. The diagnosis for DeLaGarza was a dislocated left shoulder which could see him out for about a month.

2. Middle of the first half…nothing to see here

D.C. United, in the first half, was dominant with their possession and threatened in the 17th minute. LA’s backline held, and they pressed the issue three minutes later. Once again, the game devolved into a battle of ball possession, with Hamid and Los Angeles netminder Jaime Penedo gaining some touches.

3. Gonzalez with a first-half howler

Another issue with the Galaxy in this game was their inability to deliver through balls over the top. That kept D.C. in the match in the first half. A shot from D.C.’s James Riley in the 34th minute pressed the issue further. In the 39th minute, a mistake from Omar Gonzalez gave Chris Pontius an easy equalizer to make it 1-1.

D.C. United LA Galaxy
7 Attempts on Goal 5
5 Shots on Target 2
1 Shots off Target 0
1 Blocked Shots 3
4 Corner Kicks 1
5 Fouls 2
8 Open Play Crosses 0
2 Offsides 0
0 First Yellow Cards 0
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
22 Duels Won 18
55% Duels Won % 45%
271 Total Pass 206
80% Passing Accuracy % 75%
57.7% Possession 42.3%

4. International duty costly for LA’s DPs

The onus for Los Angeles was to get back in the game, connect on their passes, and do the little things that helped them this season. Perhaps all the drinking that Donovan and Gonzalez did after qualifying for the FIFA World Cup affected their game today, and Robbie Keane’s Republic of Ireland failing to qualify for the show also made an impact this afternoon; who knows.

Sep 14, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Robbie Keane (7) scores a goal against D.C. United defender James Riley (2) during the first half at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial. Mandatory Credit: Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

Early on in the second half, Donovan was subbed out for Jose Villareal to restart proceedings due to a sore ankle issue. Sometimes, when you are out of the playoffs and you are taking on a playoff contender, you tend to play your best game, and D.C. piled on the pressure. A shot from Keane in the 57th minute missed wide right. Hector Jimenez had an easy chance at the hour mark but that missed everything.

5. United press on in second half

A set piece from Marcelo Sarvas in the 64th minute went over the bar, adding to the coldstreak of chances gone by for LA. Keane’s next chance in the 66th minute was cleared by Riley. A chance from Dwayne De Rosario in the 73rd minute was cleared by Leonardo, and D.C. continued to press. All the substitutions that the home side made were starting to take their toll.

6. It’s the Late Show all over again

Conor Doyle is one of those substitutions that Ben Olsen made, and he nearly cashed in in the 79th minute, but his shot was collected by Penedo. Another shot in the 80th minute from D.C. was saved the Panamanian goalkeeper. LA substitute Michael Stephens, however, was not going to go down lightly, and in the 81st minute, he finally broke open the deadlock to make it 2-1 LA.

Winning the last 15 minutes, however, has been a problem for Los Angeles all season, and Kyle Porter proved that theory correct in the 84th minute to make it 2-2. Gyasi Zardes had a big opportunity to win back the lead in the 90th minute but elected to go for an assist, which backfired. Porter nearly brought home a game-winner in the second minute of second-half stoppage time but missed the touch.

D.C. United LA Galaxy
12 Attempts on Goal 13
7 Shots on Target 3
3 Shots off Target 5
2 Blocked Shots 5
8 Corner Kicks 2
11 Fouls 9
22 Open Play Crosses 3
6 Offsides 2
0 First Yellow Cards 0
0 Second Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
48 Duels Won 36
57% Duels Won % 42%
525 Total Pass 376
82% Passing Accuracy % 74%
59% Possession 41%

Tags: D.c. United Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer Mls

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