An absent David Beckham. An invisible Landon Donovan. A Galaxy loss.
The Galaxy went meekly down 2-0 to the Columbus Crew Saturday even though the co-MLS leaders rested the likes of reigning MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto, former Galaxy striker Alejandro Moreno and Rolling Hills Estates’ Robbie Rogers ahead of Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League game against Costa Rica’s Saprissa.
They didn’t need them against a Galaxy team that yet again illustrated its lack of venom in front of goal, strikes by Eddie Gaven and Steven Lenhart on either side of halftime giving the home team a comfortable victory.
The Galaxy’s best attacking moment: midfielder Chris Birchall’s stinging shot that smacked off the woodwork in the 68th minute.
The Galaxy’s worst defensive moment: the glacial Gregg Berhalter verses Lenhart on the second goal. How many times are we going to see that complete lack of pace/awareness lead to a goal?
Key stat: 23 Galaxy fouls, their highest in a game this year (but that wasn’t sufficient to throw off Columbus apparently).
Key omission: Chris Klein, who saw his MLS record streak of consecutive MLS games snapped at 141, the first time in four years he had missed a game for his club.
“We weren’t going to beat them tonight,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena told The Columbus Dispatch. “We were just second all night.”
Galaxy XI: Donovan Ricketts, A.J. DeLaGarza (Alan Gordon 54′), Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant (Eddie Lewis 62′), Stefani Miglioranzi (Jovan Kirovski 34′), Chris Birchall, Sean Franklin, Landon Donovan, Brian Jordan, Edson Buddle.
Updated playoff standings.
Next: Chicago Fire 8 p.m. Friday at Home Depot Center (and live on ESPN2)