The Galaxy did their part, winning the first leg of their Western Conference semifinal series against Colorado, 1-0 Sunday.
The series shifts to Colorado next Sunday. Start time is set for 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Here are some thoughts from the key participants from Sunday’s game:
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena:
“We had enough chances to get a couple goals today. You’re playing against a team that doesn’t concede many goals. You may disagree, but we certainly had chances to get a second goal today and we fell short there. Overall I think we played a pretty solid game.”
Galaxy’s Giovani dos Santos (scored the winning goal in the 55th minute)”
“We feel confident, we have six days to recover and plan the game for next weekend so we’re ready and excited for next weekend.
“I think everyone today was patient and we knew that Tim (Howard]) is a great keeper and we knew that in every play we have a lot of players that could make a difference and today everyone had a good game.”
Landon Donovan on series shifting to Colorado:
“They have to be pretty aggressive. They were pretty tentative tonight as far as their attacking desires. I would guess that they’ll put more into it to try to push forward and score more goals, which plays into what we do very well. They’ll probably have a similar mentality like us, be smart early, try to push the game in the right way and try to get a goal in. For us, first and foremost, we’ve got to make sure we defend well but we have a team full of guys who can make plays and score goals.”
The Galaxy will host Colorado in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinal series, Sunday at 2 p.m. It was announced Thursday night.
The game will be televised by ESPN.
The Galaxy and Colorado met three times this season. The Galaxy went 0-1-2, scoring only one goal. Colorado scored just two.
The second leg will take place Nov. 6 in Colorado.
The Rapids are the second seed in the West. The Galaxy is the third seed.
Here is Sunday’s complete schedule for the first leg of the semifinals.
New York at Montreal, noon, ESPN
Colorado at Galaxy, 2 p.m., ESPN
New York City FC at Toronto FC, 4 p.m., FS1
FC Dallas at Seattle, 6:30 p.m., FS1
Emmanuel Boateng took over Wednesday’s knockout round game against Real Salt Lake, scoring two goals in an eight-minute span and thoroughly dominating RSL defenders all night.
Landon Donovan had this to say about the youngster:
On Boateng’s first goal
“If Messi scored a goal like that, people would be talking about it for weeks. It was an unbelievable goal.”
On Boateng’s performance
“The second goal was just as good in some ways. Guys have been telling me since I’ve been back that he has that in him. I think he felt probably a little guilty about the penalty, even though it was a little soft, but he was terrific and we need him to play like that.”
L.A. Galaxys Emmanuel Boateng(24) gets the ball past Real Salt Lakes Nick Rimando,(18) for the goal in the Western Conference, host sixth-seeded Real Salt Lake in an MLS Knockout Round showdown in Carson CA. Wednesday, October 26, 2016. (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova, Press-Telegram/ Daily Breeze/SCNG)
It was good to see the Galaxy rouse themselves from their wretched form of late led by an inspirational performance by live wire Emmanuel Boateng, who scored two impressive goals in the playoff knockout game Wednesday at Stubhub Center against Real Salt Lake.
But the Galaxy were done no favors by the timing of the game.
Read more in this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.
The Galaxy hosts Real Salt Lake in the knockout round tonight at StubHub Center.
The teams met twice in the regular season. The Galaxy won the first match 5-2 and then they played to a 3-3 draw in September.
The Galaxy finished third in the Western Conference. Real Salt Lake finished sixth. Last year, the Galaxy lost in the knockout round on the road against Seattle.
The Galaxy has been strong all season, with just one loss in MLS games and one in the U.S. Open Cup. RSL has lost 11 road games.
Will tonight have a different ending?
Game day links:
Galaxy looking for MLS Playoff knockout vs. RSL
The vote for Galaxy player of the year went to the fans this year and they selected Giovani dos Santos.
Dos Santos scored 14 goals with 12 assists in 28 games for the Galaxy.
“He had a very good year obviously. His numbers tell you that. He had 14 goals on the year
Associated Press Photo
and a number of assists. He had a good year and grew as a player,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “It’s his first year playing regularly…in his career, I think. And hopefully he continues to get better. But he had a much improved year and he’s gotten acclimated to our city, our club and our league and hopefully he continues to get better.”
Jelle Van Damme was selected Defender of the Year. In his first year with the club and Major League Soccer, Van Damme made 28 starts and helped lead the Galaxy defense to a stingy 39 goals allowed.
Gyasi Zardes was selected Humanitarian of the Year. Jack McBean was the LA Galaxy II Player of the Year and goalkeeper Clement Diop was picked LA Galaxy II Defender of the Year. Lee Nishanian was selected LA Galaxy II Humanitarian of the Year.
Ethan Zubak was the LA Galaxy Academy player of the year.
The third-seeded Galaxy will host sixth-seeded Real Salt Lake, Wednesday night at StubHub Center (7:30 p.m.; UniMas).
Here is an early look at the series:
The teams faced each other twice in the regular season.
April 23 at StubHub Center
Galaxy 5, Real Salt Lake 2: This was the fourth game of the season for the Galaxy. Juan Manuel Martinez opened the scoring for RSL in the 16th minute. The Galaxy then responded with four consecutive goals (Zardes- 19th; Magee -26th, Boateng -41 and dos Santos- 45) for a 4-1 lead.
Sept. 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium
Galaxy 3, Real Salt Lake 3: This is one of the more frustrating games for the Galaxy. They scored first and after a pair of Giovani dos Santos goals (58th and 64th minutes) the Galaxy led 3-1. RSL scored in the 67th minute (Joao Plata) and Juan Manuel Martinez scored the equalizer in the 94th minute.
Key player to watch:
Giovani dos Santos. In two games, during the regular season dos Santos has three goals and two assists against RSL.
Joao Plata. Plata leads RSL in goals (nine) and assists (11).
The Galaxy wraps up the regular season Sunday against FC Dallas. While the game means a lot for FC Dallas (they’re in the hunt for the Supporters’ Shield), things are the opposite for the Galaxy.
The Galaxy is locked into the third-seed and will be home for the knockout-round, Oct. 26 or 27.
Bruce Arena that the lineup that he sends out will have a different look.
“Clearly, we’ll play a few different players, how many remains to be seen,” he said Wednesday.
Three players we will likely not see are Robbie Keane (hip flexor), Steven Gerrard (hamstring) and Gyasi Zardes (foot). Keane and Gerrard stayed behind and didn’t make the trip to Houston last week. Zardes has been rehabbing from his foot surgery.
“They’re making progress,” Arena said. “When they’re able to get back in remains to be seen.”