Montreal Impact 1 Galaxy 1
A rare moment of David Beckham brilliance from a trademark free kick gave the Galaxy the equalizer needed to tie Montreal 1-1 today before a record 60,830 crowd for a soccer game at Olympic Stadium.
His superbly struck set piece left former Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts grasping at air an hour into the game, finally energizing what had been a sub-par Galaxy performance up until that point.
“In the first half we were a bit timid, I don’t think we played aggressively enough,” Beckham said. “I don’t think we had the belief after coming off a bad result last weekend.”
“It has to be precise,” he said of his free kick, observing that Ricketts is able to cover much of his goal. “It has to be a corner he’s not going to get to. … I knew it was a good one as soon as it left my foot.”
It was the Galaxy’s fourth game in a row without a win, but by game’s end were unlucky not to leave with all three points as they pressed forward in the last 30 minutes against a suddenly back-pedaling Impact.
But in the first half the Galaxy exhibited many of the familiar symptoms of an unconfident side that has marred their season so far including insipid finishing and a lack of midfield creativity.
The latest terrible mix-up in the Galaxy’s on-going center back saga saw A.J. DeLaGarza hang poorly positioned partner Dan Keat out to dry by misjudging a long ball ball, allowing veteran Davy Arnaud to punish Keat for the opener after just eight minutes. Keat, the latest in a long line of auditioning partners for A.J. DeLagarza in the middle of the back four, made a couple of early errors, including on the goal, but improved as the match wore on.
Coach Bruce Arena gave Palos Verdes Estates’ Kyle Nakazawa his Galaxy debut alongside potential Oympian Michael Stephens in midfield with Mike Magee dropping to the bench. Landon Donovan moved up front with Edson Buddle left at home nursing an muscle strain and goalkeeper Brian Perk was preferred to Bill Gaudette.
Nakazawa and Stephens were largely ineffective and Magee replaced the undistinguished Stephens at half time, a move that gave the Galaxy more urgency moving forward.
Robbie Keane’s now almost two-month long goal drought must be worrying for Ireland with Eurto 2012 looming and although he combined well on occasion up front still lacked the final killer touch in front of goal.
Still, the Galaxy finished with 15 shots on goal to Montreal’s 11, while the home side could only manage two on target as the Galaxy dominated possession in the second 45 minutes.
“We’ve lost some of these games this year,” said Arena. “So to come back and get a point is something for us to build on.”
Game story here.
— Bruno LeBlanc (@UbiNox84) May 12, 2012
Next for the Galaxy: A visit to the White House Tuesday before playing Chivas USA in the SuperClasico next weekend.