Galaxy leave Dallas wanting more
The battle for Western supremacy lived up to its billing as the Los Angeles Galaxy failed to solve the riddle of FC Dallas goalkeeper Scott Garlick and fell 1-0 to the home side on a controversial goal by Roberto Mina in the 32nd minute.
The first half was all FCD but the Green-and-Gold put up a good fight, Garlick to make three clutch saves to keep the Galaxy off scoreboard.
"I thought we had a couple of chances early to score," said Galaxy forward Landon Donovan.
The Hoops' Ronnie O'Brien clearly dominated the midfield and made it tough for L.A. to generate any attack.
"I think O'Brien played exceptional -- he is so dominant in the midfield. I think he is one of the very best players this league has ever had," said Galaxy coach Steve Sampson. "He is having a wonderful year."
On the only goal of the match, Mina stole the ball from Tyrone Marshall 30 yards from the goal on the Galaxy right. He dribbled into the area, cut inside a defender to find himself one-on-one with Kevin Hartman and drove a low shot to the 'keeper's right inside the post in the 32nd minute.
"I think it is disappointing because we thought there was a foul -- a non-call on the goal that we conceded," said Hartman.
Added Sampson: "Obviously, we can't give up mistakes like we did today and expect to beat good teams -- we will shore things up in the back."
In the second half, the Galaxy made it more of a game by forcing Garlick to make crucial saves to give keep the score at 1-0.
"We didn't want to come out and play the second half like we did the first half. I thought we really resuscitated ourselves and breathed life into our game and had a much better second period," said Hartman.
The Galaxy 'keeper also gave his team a fighting chance, stopping nine shots in the second half.
"I think [man of the match] going to Scott Garlick was appropriate, but I think Kevin Hartman also did an outstanding job for us as well," said Sampson.
The Galaxy will look to regain their form Wednesday in Salt Lake still winless away from The Home Depot Center this year, and facing two more games on this extended road swing.
"I think we have to go into games not wanting to concede goals and at the same time continuing to play a good brand of soccer," Hartman said.
Regardless of the result Saturday night, the Galaxy will have two more chances to prove who is boss in the West with still more than half the season remaining.
"We have two more games with Dallas, and our aspiration is to be No. 1 in the Western Conference," Hartman said.
Ron Goode is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.