SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Los Angeles aren't likely to complain about earning the unlikeliest of clean sheets with the help of accidental goalkeeper Mike Magee.
The MLS league leaders extended their unbeaten streak to 10 consecutive matches Saturday with a 0-0 road draw against the San Jose Earthquakes in a game that featured Magee, a ninth-year forward, in net for the final 47 minutes while Los Angeles played a man down. The Galaxy (9-2-8) survived after starting goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts left the match due to an injury in the 24th minute and backup Josh Saunders received a straight red card in the 43rd.
San Jose (5-5-5) struggled to test Magee in the second half despite the 11-on-10 advantage except for a frantic push in the final 10 minutes. Even then, the Quakes found themselves unable to perfect their timing while rarely forcing Magee to make a stop.
Magee finished with four saves on the afternoon, with three occuring after the 80th minute.
It was not the kind of performance that warmed the hearts of home fans in the franchise-record crowd of 10,872 at Buck Shaw Stadium, who fully expected the Quakes to pick up three points after Magee’s insertion.
Ricketts, who was making his return after a three-match absence at the Gold Cup with Jamaica, went down after a crunching collision with countryman Khari Stephenson, who was trying to get on the end of Ryan Johnson’s cross.
A team spokesman said Ricketts suffered “a left forearm injury” which will receive “further evaluation” once the team returns to Los Angeles.
Saunders was banished in the 43rd minute after tangling -- and not for the first time on the day -- with abrasive Quakes forward Steven Lenhart.
The play began with Saunders scooping up a back header from A.J. DeLaGarza. Lenhart, looping back after overrunning the play, headed the ball out of the arms of Saunders. Saunders fought off the Quakes forward to regain control of the ball by cramming his left elbow into Lenhart’s face -- earning an immediate red from busy referee Juan Guzman.
Lenhart also received a yellow card for heading the ball out of Saunders’ control.
San Jose took only two shots in the first 35 minutes after halftime -- only Bobby Convey’s drive from distance required Magee’s attention -- as they struggled for a second time this year playing a man up. The Quakes previously lost at Philadelphia on April 30 despite an 11-on-10 advantage for 50 minutes.
The match seemed on pace to start with a bit of déjà vu for the Quakes, who scored within 4 minutes in both their matchups with the Galaxy last year.
Simon Dawkins took a pass from Bobby Convey -- playing on the right wing in his first midfield start since April 23 -- and turned from 15 yards out. Dawkins’ left-footed shot beat Ricketts, but banged off the far post just 19 seconds into the match.
June 25, 2011 -- Buck Shaw Stadium
LA Galaxy -- Donovan Ricketts (Josh Saunders 24), A.J. DeLaGarza, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, Chris Birchall, Juninho, Michael Stephens, Mike Magee, Juan Pablo Angel (Chad Barrett 84), Miguel Lopez (Sean Franklin 66).
Substitutes Not Used: Paolo Cardozo, Adam Cristman, Bryan Jordan, Jovan Kirovski.
San Jose Earthquakes -- Jon Busch, Steven Beitashour, Bobby Burling, Jason Hernandez, Ramiro Corrales, Bobby Convey, Brad Ring, Khari Stephenson (Anthony Ampaipitakwong 46), Ryan Johnson (Ellis McLoughlin 75), Simon Dawkins, Steven Lenhart.
Substitutes Not Used: Sam Cronin, Chris Leitch, Brandon McDonald, Scott Sealy, Andrew Weber.
LA -- Todd Dunivant (caution; Reckless Foul) 37
LA -- Josh Saunders (ejection; Violent Conduct) 43
SJ -- Steven Lenhart (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 43
SJ -- Ramiro Corrales (caution; Reckless Foul) 49
Referee: Juan Guzman
Referee's Assistants: Fabio Tovar; Kevin Duliba
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
Time of Game: 1:55