CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy spent most of the first half and nearly all of the first couple of minutes after halftime creating scoring opportunities for teenage forwards Jose Villarreal and Jack McBean. But they needed a little help to find the net Saturday night, and Drew Moor provided it.
The Colorado Rapids center back threw an elbow into Marcelo Sarvas' face in an off-the-ball incident, drawing a red card and putting MLS scoring leader Mike Magee at the penalty spot for the lone goal in LA's 1-0 triumph at the Home Depot Center.
Moor was retreating into his box as Galaxy right back Sean Franklin tracked down a ball on the right flank, and he threw his left arm into Sarvas' face after bumping into him just inside the box, sending the Brazilian midfielder sprawling in pain.
By the time referee Armando Villarreal reached for the red card, after consulting with his assistant, Moor was already heading off the field. His departure, following first-half injuries to Pablo Mastroeni and Diego Calderón, left the Rapids in poor shape against a Galaxy side that was clicking on nearly every cylinder.
Sarvas said he thought Moor connected with his hand, that “he punched me.”
“I have no idea ... I don't know where it came from,” he said. “I didn't say anything to him. He was just walking. I stopped in front of him. I don't know, he probably lost his mind. For sure.”
Jose Villarreal called it a “dirty play,” Sarvas depicted it as “boxing,” and Moor said it was a “sudden reaction,” that he “kind of moved my arm back in his direction and made contact.”
The Galaxy were content to possess the ball and look for a second goal, but they created fewer chances after the red card than they had before.
“If we're at fault tonight, certainly keeping [Colorado] around for 90 minutes was a flaw in our performance,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “I think we had chances to get the second and third goal. Give them credit: They never quit.”
Sarvas, hit just below the left eye, said his face was hurting and that “the headache's starting now,” but he thinks he'll be OK.
“The doctor saw. I don't think it's broke,” he said. “Let's see next day how I'm going to be be.”
Magee, who netted his fourth goal of the season with the 50th-minute penalty kick, expressed surprise that Moor, a ninth-year veteran, would do such a thing.
“That's not like Drew Moor,” he said. “He's a great guy. I've known him for a long time. ... It's sad to win a game that way. Actually, it's not sad at all. We'll take it. Sad for them, I guess.”