Ruiz drama leaves LA, DC tied
who followed his Player of the Week performance with another quality effort -- but Stewart screwed his shot well wide off the outside of his right foot.
Despite proving ineffective in attack during the first half, the Galaxy had a terrific chance to open the scoring in the final minute of the first half when a corner kick sailed past United goalkeeper Nick Rimando, only to have Galaxy midfielder Sasha Victorine head the ball to the right of the goal.
Fourteen-year-old Freddy Adu came on to start the second half, replacing Eskandarian, but it was United's other starting forward who almost gave them the lead.
In the 53rd minute Moreno beat the offside trap and ran onto a lead pass from left midfielder Joshua Gros, who was making his MLS debut with Dema Kovalenko serving a one-game red card suspension. The Bolivian striker advanced untouched down the left side and into the box. With Hartman charging off his line, Moreno chipped the ball over the goalkeeper but the ball missed the target wide right.
Of the substitutions made by either team in the second half, the entrance of Cerritos for Moreno in the 67th minute provided immediate results. Barely a minute after entering the match Cerritos finished an impressive combination of passes by United. A cross by Stewart from the right side found a wide open Gros on the left side of the Galaxy penalty area. The United rookie deflected the ball toward the center of the box where Cerritos fired it first-time into the top right corner of the goal.
The goal brought the game to life with end-to-end action. However, it was a sudden flash of finishing skill by Ruiz which brought his team level in the 85th minute. A pass was deflected to Ruiz at the top of area, and the Guatemalan international withstood a challenge by midfielder Brian Carroll before sending a right-footed shot from the top of the box over Rimando and into the roof of the net for his second goal of the season.
Both teams could have come away with game-winners in the final minutes of the match. On an 89th-minute corner, several Galaxy players watched the ball bounce in front of them in the United penalty area unable to put in the final touch. Then play raced to the other end, where it was Adu who dribbled into the right side of the box in the 90th minute and fired a blistering right-footed shot which was parried by Hartman.
Both clubs take their undefeated records into the next round of regular-season action next Saturday, with D.C. United traveling to meet the MetroStars at Giants Stadium in the RadioShack Soccer Saturday ESPN2 game of the week (4 p.m. ET). After opening the season with two consecutive matches at home, the Galaxy will hit the road for the first time in 2004 for a match against the Colorado Rapids at Invesco Field at Mile High (7 p.m. MT).
MLS Man of the Match: Bryan Namoff (D.C. United)
DC -- Ronald Cerritos 1 (Joshua Gros 1, Earnie Stewart 2) 68
LA -- Carlos Ruiz 2 (Joseph Ngwenya 1, Sasha Victorine 2) 85
D.C. United -- Nick Rimando, Mike Petke, Joshua Gros, Ryan Nelsen (Brandon Prideaux 85), Bryan Namoff, Earnie Stewart, Brian Carroll, Ben Olsen, Bobby Convey, Alecko Eskandarian (Freddy Adu 46), Jaime Moreno (Ronald Cerritos 67).
Substitutes Not Used: David Stokes,
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Alecko Eskandarian 2, Earnie Stewart 2);
SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Earnie Stewart 2);
FOULS: 17 (3 tied with 3);
OFFSIDES: 2 (Alecko Eskandarian 2);
CORNER KICKS: 4 (Bobby Convey 2, Earnie Stewart 2);
SAVES: 1 (Nick Rimando 1)
Los Angeles Galaxy -- Kevin Hartman, Chris Albright, Danny Califf, Hong Myung-Bo, Paul Broome (Tyrone Marshall 61), Arturo Torres (Cobi Jones 57), Andreas Herzog, Peter Vagenas (Joseph Ngwenya 71), Sasha Victorine, Carlos Ruiz, Jovan Kirovski.
Substitutes Not Used: Ned Grabavoy,
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Carlos Ruiz 3);
SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Danny Califf 1, Carlos Ruiz 1);
FOULS: 17 (Sasha Victorine 4);
OFFSIDES: 1 (Joseph Ngwenya 1);
CORNER KICKS: 5 (Andreas Herzog 5);
SAVES: 5 (Kevin Hartman 5)
Joshua Gros (caution; Reckless Foul)
Peter Vagenas (caution; Reckless Foul)
Referee: Terry Vaughn
Chris Strickland; Jose Corro
4th Official: Ramon Hernandez
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Cloudy and 65 degrees
All Statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial