Carson, CA - The "El Salvador Select" side defeated an L.A. Galaxy Alumni team by a 4-3 score in Mauricio Cienfuegos' Farewell Match Saturday night at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California. However, he will not be going far as Cienfuegos has now accepted as position in the front office as Galaxy Ambassador.
The game, played in two 35-minute halves, gave Galaxy fans one more chance to say goodbye to the Salvadoran midfielder, who played for the club from 1996-2003. Cienfuegos played one half for each side, starting the match with his club side before changing into the colors of his national team.
Carlos Hermosillo opened the scoring for the Galaxy Alumni in the 10th minute, stealing the ball from goalkeeper Misael Alfaro in the penalty area, rounding the sprawled out 'keeper and putting it home. Jorge Salcedo doubled the Galaxy advantage just before the interval, taking a Greg Vanney pass from the left flank and striking the ball past Alfaro first-time.
The El Salvador eleven opened their account in the 40th minute when Cienfuegos played Santos Cabrera into space along the right flank. Cabrera quickly collected and tucked it past 'keeper Raul Garcia to cut the lead in half. Hermosillo scored in the 49th minute, however to re-gain the two-goal cushion for the Galaxy side.
Two minutes later, Cienfuegos notched his second assist of the match, using his veteran savvy to catch his former teammates off-guard on a re-start, spotting Raul Diaz Arce, who beat Garcia to the far post to make it 3-2. The Salvadorans tied the score in the 54th minute when Hugo Perez notched his first of the night.
After Garcia took down Cabrera in the 58th minute, Cienfuegos awaited his chance to give El Salvador the lead from the penalty spot. With the crowd at The Home Depot Center rising to its feet, the midfielder struck the ball cleanly into the upper right corner of the goal to make it 4-3. Neither side would threaten after that and Cienfuegos was carried off the field at the final whistle.
Mauricio Cienfuegos retired from professional soccer at the conclusion of the 2003 MLS season, his eighth with the Los Angeles Galaxy. By the time he hung up his boots, he had become the first Galaxy player to appear in 200 MLS regular season matches, eventually finishing his career with 206.
The talented playmaking midfielder amassed 35 goals and 79 assists for a total of 149 points in his eight years with the Galaxy. His goal total ranks third in club history, trailing only Cobi Jones and Carlos Ruiz, while his assist numbers top the Galaxy charts and his total point is second only to Jones.
The Los Angeles Galaxy return to The Home Depot Center on Saturday, June 12 at 1 pm against DaMarcus Beasley the 2003 Eastern Conference Champion Chicago Fire. The match will air live on ESPN2's Radio Shack Soccer Saturday. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call the Galaxy at 1-877-3GALAXY.
1 2 F
LA - 2 1 3
SLV - 0 4 4
LA - Carlos Hermosillo (ua) 10'
LA - Jorge Salcedo (Greg Vanney) 32'
SLV - Santos Cabrera (Mauricio Cienfuegos) 40'
LA - Carlos Hermosillo (ua) 49'
SLV - Raul Diaz Arce (Mauricio Cienfuegos) 51'
SLV - Hugo Perez (ua) 54'
SLV - Mauricio Cienfuegos (pk) 59'
LA Alumni - Raul Garcia (GK) - Mauricio Cienfuegos (Capt.) (36: Marvin Quijano), Dan Calichman, Paul Caligiuri, Carlos Hermosillo, Eduardo Hurtado (60: Martin Machon), Alexi Lalas, Martin Machon (36: Andrew Shue), Roy Myers, Jorge Salcedo (36: Jose Vasquez), Greg Vanney.
El Salvador Select - Misael Alfaro (GK) - Leonel Carcamo Batres (Capt.) (36: Mauricio Cienfuegos), Castro Borja, Santos Cabrera, Raul Diaz Arce, Edgar Enriquez (36: Gerbert Burgos), Miguel Estrada (44: Jaime Rodriguez), Hugo Perez, Nelson Portillo (36: Roberto Martinez), Jorge Rodriguez, Geovanni Trigueros (36: Mario Mayen Mesa).