CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are pleased to be headed to Utah for Thursday's second leg of their Western Conference Semifinal series against Real Salt Lake with a 1-0 advantage, but they can't help but think they should have scored another goal or two Sunday night.
LA attacked their defensive-minded foe all night and came close to scoring a half-dozen times or more, but all they got was Sean Franklin's 48th-minute bomb to claim the first leg at the StubHub Center.
Landon Donovan acknowledged the Galaxy let RSL off the hook.
“[Franklin's goal] was probably the least dangerous of the seven or eight really good chances we had,” Donovan said. “We put a lot of pressure on them throughout the night ... especially at the end, they pushed forward and we did a good job defensively, and Robbie [Keane] and I need to do a better job with our counterattack. Usually, we're better about that.
“My guess is we're going to have a lot more chances Thursday as they push numbers into the attack, and that absolutely plays into our hands, and we welcome that.”
Keane was far from sharp, stepping on balls and mishitting shots and passes, and RSL packed it in the back for much of the evening, providing limited space for LA's attackers. Chris Schuler came up with two big sliding stops in front of the RSL goal in the first half, and when the Galaxy had open looks, they too often fired wide or high or right at goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
WATCH: LAvRSL postgame show
“We know if we were better in the final third, we maybe walk away with this game, 3-0,” Franklin said. “But, you know, on the day, we can be satisfied. I thought the team played well offensively and defensively. A little bit sharper, and we have a couple more goals.”
Keane, who set up Franklin's goal, wasn't perturbed.
“It is what it is,” LA's captain said. “We had a few chances, didn't score. ... We certainly gave them a lot to think about at the back, there's no question about that, but we had a few chances, didn't put them away. That's the way it goes. It's the playoffs. Anything can happen.
“If every team could counterattack and score every time, well, then, it would be four or five goals every game, but unfortunately in football, it doesn't work like that.”
Didn't the Galaxy deserve more than what they got?
“This time of year, it doesn't matter what you deserve, it's just what happens,” Todd Dunivant said. “And either way, we knew this was 180 minutes [against RSL], and we're not going to get too high or too low.”