TUCSON, Ariz. – The LA Galaxy will open the 2012 regular season the same way they closed the 2011 season: with a trophy in their cabinet.
After a scoreless 90 minutes, Brian Perk came up big in a penalty shootout, stopping two spot kicks as the Galaxy defeated the New England Revolution on Saturday night at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium to win the Desert Diamond Cup final.
The LA backup ‘keeper stopped attempts by both Ryan Guy and Benny Feilhaber as a reserve-laden Galaxy side triumphed 4-2 in the shootout.
With the Galaxy preparing for next week’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal at Toronto, Bruce Arena fielded a lineup that included only Todd Dunivant, Juninho and Chad Barrett as regulars from last season’s MLS Cup-winning side.
New England’s Jay Heaps, meanwhile, put forward a mostly first-choice team with his Revs chasing hardware after a surprising undefeated run in the tournament. But despite the presence of the very active Benny Feilhaber and Kelyn Rowe, they couldn’t get on the board despite some near-misses by newcomer Saër Sène.
The Galaxy now return to LA to put the finishing touches on their preparation for next week’s CCL match ahead of their 2012 MLS season opener at home against Real Salt Lake on March 10. The Revolution, meanwhile, head back to New England ahead of their opener, also on March 10 at San Jose.
Penalty Kick Summary:
LA – Paolo Cardozo – GOAL
NE – Ryan Guy – SAVED
LA – Michael Stephens – SAVED
NE – Matt Reis – GOAL
LA – Hector Jimenez – GOAL
NE – Shalrie Joseph – GOAL
LA – Ken Walker – GOAL
NE – Benny Feilhaber – SAVED
LA – Marcelo Sarvas - GOAL
NE – Shalrie Joseph (caution) 45+
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney (Darrius Barnes 46), A.J. Soares (John Lozano 46), Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston, Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph, Clyde Simms (Austin da Luz 71), Kelyn Rowe (Ryan Guy 79), Blake Brettschneider (Fernando Cardenas 66), Saer Sene
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Tim Murray, Tyler Polak, Diego Fagundez, Zack Schilawski, Darrius Barnes, Ryan Kinne, Michael Roach, Rick Smith, Florian Lechner, Alec Purdie
LA Galaxy: Brian Perk, Todd Dunivant (J.T. Murray 46), Bryan Gaul, Tommy Meyer, Dan Keat (Justin Davies 64), Pat Noonan (Paolo Cardozo 66), Marcelo Sarvas, Juninho (Kenney Walker 69), Mike Stephens, Jack McBean, Chad Barrett (Hector Jimenez 61)
Substitutes Not Used: Bill Gaudette, Rafael Garcia
HIGHLIGHTS: LA beat New England in penalties