CARSON, Calif. – Without Landon Donovan, the LA Galaxy’s attack sputtered and struggled to generate chances and tied D.C. United 0-0 at The Home Depot Center on Friday.
D.C. United controlled possession for the majority of the match and had the better of opportunities but faulty finishing kept the match scoreless.
The Galaxy made do without three key players. Donovan and Donovan Ricketts are off on international duty, preparing for the Gold Cup which starts on Sunday. Juan Pablo Ángel, meanwhile, was a late scratch because of a calf injury and did not dress for the match.
Miguel López and Chad Barrett paired up top together while the midfield consisted of David Beckham, Juninho, Mike Magee and Chris Birchall.
Still, the midfield lacked Donovan’s creativity and offensive firepower. D.C. United had the better of play in the first 45 minutes, coming close to breaking through on a pair of occasions, including a chance in the 25th minute that went just side of the post. Andy Najar controlled a long ball in the Galaxy's 18 and sent a pass of his own across the goal that Josh Wolff just failed to capitalize on.
The Galaxy could only counter with a pair of crosses to Barrett, but the forward was unable to do anything with the passes that came in from the flanks.
The Galaxy made several chances in the second half as Jovan Kirovski and Paolo Cardozo replaced Juninho and López, respectively.
Meanwhile, DC continued to maintain pressure on the Galaxy’s backline. In the 63rd minute, Wolff had a clear opportunity in front of the goal as a ball fell to him on the edge of the six-yard box. The veteran striker however, took a second or two to fire a shot on goal and let Josh Saunders off the hook by hitting the outside of the net.
Charlie Davies, making his return from a hamstring injury, nearly bagged the go-ahead goal in the 81st minute. After racing past Omar Gonzalez, the speedster evaded Saunders and pushed a shot towards the goal. However, Davies was off-balance and falling over when he fired off his attempt and wound up pushing it wide of the goal.
The Galaxy move to 8-2-6, still atop the Western Conference standings. Their homestand continues next Saturday when they host Toronto FC. United, meanwhile move to 4-4-4 on the season and host San Jose next weekend at RFK Stadium in DC.
DC -- Fred (caution; Reckless Tackle) 6
LA -- Omar Gonzalez (caution; Reckless Tackle) 42
DC -- Ethan White (caution; Reckless Tackle) 65
D.C. United -- Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen, Ethan White, Chris Korb, Daniel Woolard, Andy Najar, Fred (Stephen King 61), Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius, Josh Wolff (Joseph Ngwenya 88), Blake Brettschneider (Charlie Davies 67).
Substitutes Not Used: Brandon Barklage, Rodrigo Brasesco, Conor Shanosky, Joe Willis.
LA Galaxy -- Josh Saunders, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Chris Birchall, David Beckham, Juninho (Jovan Kirovski 46), Mike Magee, Chad Barrett (Adam Cristman 83), Miguel Lopez (Paolo Cardozo 68).
Substitutes Not Used: Gregg Berhalter, Frankie Hejduk, Michael Stephens, Brian Perk.
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee's Assistants: -Daniel Belleau; Mike Rottersman
4th Official: Drew Fischer
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 62 degrees