Failure is far more common than success as even the likes of top-tier soccer nations like Argentina, England and Mexico have discovered — and puts public frustration with the U.S. Men’s National Team into perspective.
Raul Mendiola‘s goal in the fifth minute against Portland was enough to send the Galaxy through to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup as L.A. held on for a 1-0 win on Wednesday at Providence Park.
The homegrown player subbed off for Mike Magee in the 64th minute after a productive shift both offensively and defensively. He has a goal and an assist in his two U.S. Open Cup appearances for the Galaxy this season.
“I just do my job,” Mendiola told reporters. “The coach tells me to start, and I just do my job like anyone else. I work for the team. I don’t have to score, I don’t have to do anything, I just work for the team. I want to out-compete everyone and just help my teammates.”
Said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena: “He’s a hard-working kid. He was aggressive getting forward. He’s a very competitive player. You can see tonight that he wasn’t bothered by the environment and the challenge for us.”
The Galaxy will host Seattle on July 20 in their second straight U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal appearance. The team continues MLS play on July 4 at home against Vancouver.
The Galaxy face Portland in the U.S. Open Cup round of 16 on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Providence Park. The winner of the match hosts Seattle in the quarterfinals after the Sounders knocked off Real Salt Lake in a shootout on Tuesday.
The Galaxy and Timbers have not met in U.S. Open Cup play since 2011. L.A. has won the tournament twice, but hasn’t advanced past the quarterfinals since finishing second to the Chicago Fire in 2006.
The Galaxy’s only win since May 8 came in the U.S. Open Cup fourth round against amateur team La Maquina.
The Chilean national team celebrated its second straight Copa America title just a few feet away from a dejected Lionel Messi. The Argentinian striker missed his penalty kick en route to Chile’s 4-2 shootout victory after 120 minutes of scoreless play.
It was the third straight loss for Argentina in the final of a major tournament and the heartbreak was apparently enough to force Messi into retirement from international play. The 29-year-old told reporters in Spanish after the match that “the national team is over for me. It’s not for me after four finals.”
#Messi: “Es difícil, el momento es duro para cualquier análisis. En el vestuario pensé que se terminó para mí la Selección, no es para mí”.
— Selección Argentina (@Argentina) June 27, 2016
AHORA: Messi: “Se terminó para mí la Selección” https://t.co/Nws9kiScoV
— TyC Sports (@TyCSports) June 27, 2016
Despite his distinction as one of the best in the world, Messi has yet to win a major tournament for Argentina. Sunday’s final was the second time in as many years that Argentina lost to Chile in the Copa America final on penalty kicks.
The Galaxy snapped their scoreless streak, but couldn’t shake their other bad habit of allowing late goals.
After Giovani dos Santos ended the team’s 371-minute scoreless streak in MLS play with a goal assisted by Steven Gerrard in the 69th minute against San Jose on Saturday, Chad Barrett answered in the 90th minute with a header off a free kick to force a 1-1 draw at Stanford Stadium.
For the sixth time this year, the Galaxy allowed a goal in the last 15 minutes of the match. The Earthquakes have scored a goal in last 15 minutes against the Galaxy all three times the California rivals have played this season, with L.A. going 1-0-2 in those matches. The Galaxy have not won in MLS competition since May 8, going winless in their past seven matches.
The L.A. offense generated several chances and had six shots on goal. Gerrard missed a header just wide and had another shot in the post.
Ashley Cole was sent off for a foul and abusive language in second-half stoppage time, thus suspending him for the next MLS match. Jelle Van Damme picked up a yellow card, so he, too, will miss the next match due to yellow card accumulation.
Head coach Bruce Arena told reporters the team will likely appeal Cole’s red card.
After a U.S. Open Cup match against Portland on June 29, the Galaxy continue MLS play against Vancouver at home on July 4.
The Galaxy are on a six-game winless streak and sit fourth in the Western Conference with 22 points. L.A., struggling with injuries and international duty, has not scored in 302 MLS minutes.
Bruce Arena has yet to start the same lineup in consecutive games 15 matches into the MLS season. Jack McBean will likely figure into the lineup Saturday against San Jose after an impressive performance against Colorado.
The Galaxy have only one road win on the season and have lost their past two matches away from StubHub Center. After an encouraging 1-1-1 start on the road, L.A. has dropped to 1-3-3. San Jose is undefeated at home.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) June 25, 2016
A photo posted by Giovani Dos Santos (@oficialgio) on
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Euro 2016 Winner
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More than three whole games have passed since the Galaxy last scored a goal in MLS play.
Although the Galaxy have some dangerous moments, they amounted to nothing against the No. 1 team in the Western Conference in a scoreless draw against Colorado at home. The team hasn’t scored in 302 minutes of MLS play, stretching back to a goal from Mike Magee in the 58th minute against Montreal on May 28. L.A. is winless in six straight games.
“We’ve got to look dangerous, that’s not an achievement,” midfielder Steven Gerrard said. “We need to go a step further and start creating better chances and taking them chances and getting goals. … We’ve got to win ASAP.”
The Western Conference’s highest-scoring home team has two consecutive scoreless draws at StubHub Center. A Galaxy player hasn’t scored at home since May 8 as all the team could muster in that time has been an own goal against San Jose.
“They’re not terrible results, but you start sliding down the table,” defender Dave Romney said of the ties at home. “And that’s definitely not what we want to be doing going into the summer.”
The L.A. Galaxy announced the signing of forward Jack McBean on Wednesday, calling the Galaxy II forward up after he previously signed a short-term contract with the team. He was named Los Dos’ MVP in 2015 and currently leads the USL with 12 goals.
“Jack has continued to developed on the field as a member of LA Galaxy II,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said in a statement. “He is still a young, talented player that we think will contribute to our team as he continues to grow. His signing is another testament to the benefit and success of LA Galaxy II.”
McBean, 21, was the youngest player in team history to play, start and score a goal for the Galaxy when he did so at 16. He signed a homegrown contract in 2011, but struggled with injuries and couldn’t get playing time with the first team. Since signing with Galaxy II in 2015, he has scored 18 goals. He captained the side this season.
“Last year he was with us the whole season, he established himself, created rhythm, created chances, scored goals and he really grew as a player,” Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo said of McBean at the beginning of the USL season. “You can see where you get consistent play, you can continue to improve. When you play day in and day out, you can get much better.”
McBean is the fourth player to sign with the L.A. Galaxy from Galaxy II, joining defenders Dave Romney and Daniel Steres, forward Ariel Lassiter and goalkeeper Clement Diop.
The LA Galaxy host their third annual Pride Night on Wednesday when first-place Colorado comes to town.
Defender Robbie Rogers will miss the game after undergoing ankle surgery. He is expected to miss six weeks. Rogers had surgery in the offseason due to bone spurs, but Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said the latest operation was on the other ankle.
L.A. is on a five-game winless streak and hasn’t scored in 212 MLS minutes. The team was prepared to lose Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes to international duty, but was also struck by injuries to Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos, further damaging the attacking unit.
“We haven’t clicked really well lately,” midfielder Baggio Husidic said. “That’s just working out and trying to improve and work at it in training and take our opportunities when we get them.”
The Galaxy did not take advantage of their chances in a 1-0 loss to Toronto FC on Saturday, including a shot that midfielder Sebastian Lletget sent wide of the net when he had the goalkeeper one-on-one. L.A. took 10 shots against Toronto, but only put two on goal.
“I don’t think (the chances) are as open as we’re used to having them, but I do think that we have chances,” Lletget said. “I don’t think we’re not creating chances.”