Missing two points stings Galaxy
It wasn't exactly what the Los Angeles Galaxy came to Salt Lake City to do, but after Wednesday 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake, they'll take the result.
After losing two games to start their current road trip, the Galaxy looked to return to winning ways.
Things looked very good for the Galaxy early in the match. In the 17th minute Naldo da Conceicao raced through the RSL defense on a long run to catch up with an even longer through ball out of the back. He received the ball in great position and blasted home his first goal in Major League Soccer, nutmegging Real 'keeper D.J. Countess in the process.
"I'm very happy for scoring my first goal for the Galaxy," said Naldo, through an interpreter. "On the other hand I'm a little sad because I know we could have left with three points and a big win, but it wasn't possible."
The Green-and-Gold looked to be the better team for much of the game, creating chances and terrorizing the RSL defense. As a second half substitution, Cobi Jones brought his veteran experience and fresh legs into the Galaxy attack. Jones repeatedly ran through and around the RSL defense setting up shots for teammates while also taking some of his own.
But giving up late leads has plagued the Galaxy all season. In the 56th minute RSL connected a string of quick passes together that allowed Andy Williams to pick out RSL rookie Jamie Watson. Sitting on the back post Watson was able to put away his first goal and bring his team level.
Although it wasn't an ideal result, Galaxy captain Peter Vagenas will take it. Wins are the most important, but a draw isn't a loss.
"We want three points," said Vagenas. "It's not to say that we're not happy about getting a point, but we want three points."
Vagenas thinks the difference could be that when his team goes one the road they let down a little too much.
"Maybe when we come out here we relax too much and maybe that's something we need to change," said Vagenas. "We know at home that if we don't get three points, we're getting booed off the field and that's a lot of pressure to play Saturdays at home. Everyone thinks it's easier to play at home, it's actually more difficult because of the pressures there at the Home Depot Center.
"We come on the road and maybe take a deep breath. Maybe I need to fly in 30,000 Los Angelenos to these other stadiums so we have that pressure."
Still, a draw is a step in the right direction. After getting shutout by the Rapids and FC Dallas, the Galaxy were able to get a point. Vagenas gives credit to the coaching staff who called their players out, questioning their effort.
"Our coaching staff really got in our face for the first time all year," said Vagenas. "They challenged us, and we take that personally."
Scott McAllister is a contributor to MSLnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.