HONOLULU - If anything was made clear during Thursday's 90-minute, closed-door scrimmage at the University of Hawaii, it was that D.C. United and the Los Angeles Galaxy don't much care for one another. Despite joining together to participate in the inaugural Aloha Cup in Honolulu, HI, the teams battled throughout a very physical 2-0 victory by the Los Angeles Galaxy. The two clubs will meet again on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.
Los Angeles was quick to start the match, taking the kick-off along the left flank and whipping in a quality cross. Alan Gordon skied to head a ball on target and as scrambling Nick Rimando was needed to keep the game scoreless. The play invigorated D.C. United, 5-1 on the preseason, as the Black-and-Red nearly took the lead themselves two minutes later when Ben Olsen's right footed blast hit the outside of the left side netting.
United held a majority of possession early on, but fell behind in the 34th minute. The Black-and-Red defense was unable to clear a cross from the right flank. The ball fell to an unmarked Josh Gardner at the top of the 18-yard box. His one-timed blast beat Rimando to his right.
The intensity was elevated four minutes later when Jaime Moreno faced a sturdy challenge from Carlos Gilardo in front of the Galaxy bench. Moreno was saddled with a visible mark from his knee to his shin and a yellow card for dissent as a result of the play.
Nowak made wholesale substitutions at the halfway mark, but the physical play continued. Gordon extended the Galaxy lead in the 55th minute by pushing a well-placed through ball past an on-rushing Troy Perkins before being buried by the second-year keeper.
United nearly cut into the L.A. lead on several occasions before physical play took over the game. Freddy Adu freed himself and found Nana Kuffour, whose deflected shot forced Steve Cronin to the ground for a save. Eliseo Quintanilla nearly picked out trialist Bobby Boswell on a 70th minute re-start. Perkins kept the game close by stoning Mamba Chisioni on a clean breakaway late.
Jason Thompson was shown red by the referee just before the game's end.