CARSON, CA - The Los Angeles Galaxy suffered a 2-0 loss to a collection of players from German club side Hannover 96 Tuesday morning on one of the training fields at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California. Two second-half goals were the difference for the visitors in a match organized to give the Galaxy a mid-week challenge as they prepare for their next game Saturday, June 19 at the MetroStars.
A fast-paced first half resulted in several chances for the Galaxy side comprised of both active players and several non-roster invitees. Most of those chances belonged to forward Alejandro Moreno, one of three players atop MLS' scoring charts thus far in 2004, amassing six goals and two assists for a total of 14 points.
Midway through the half, Moreno saw his best chance as a shot from teammate Josh Gardner rebounded to his feet in the penalty area. However, the young Venezuelan International's strike was cleared off the line by Hannover's last defender.
Three times in the final 15 minutes before the interval, Moreno made impressive runs through a number of defenders but with little result, as the Hannover goalkeeper denied his every attempt at goal. The home side nearly drew first blood again when Scot Thompson's powerful header of a Ned Grabavoy corner just sailed over the crossbar post in the closing minutes, and the teams headed to the break scoreless.
The start of the second half marked the return of forward Carlos Ruiz to the Galaxy lineup. The Guatemalan has been out of action since severely spraining his right ankle in a 1-1 tie against the Colorado Rapids in an MLS regular season contest at The Home Depot Center on May 15.
Though Ruiz did create some openings for himself and teammates in the second 45 minutes, including a blast off the post for the forward after eluding some defenders, the visitors scored both goals that proved to be the difference in the match. Lindemann opened the Germans account in the 70th minute on a beautiful left-footed strike from 35-yards out, that was untouched by Galaxy 'keeper Dan Popik, and landed in the far left corner of the net.
After a handful of Galaxy chances to tie the match in the final 20 minutes, Hannover doubled their lead just before the final whistle as Kotoljac capped off an end-to-end run along the center of the pitch in front of a retreating Galaxy defense, with a low-hard shot beating Popik on the far post once again.
The Los Angeles Galaxy are pleased to announce that the match against the MetroStars on Wednesday, June 23 will be the next chance this season for fans to purchase a Los Angeles Times Galaxy Family Pack. For as a little as $52, a family of four gets four match tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas and a Los Angeles Times newspaper. To take advantage of this offer, please call the Galaxy ticket office toll-free at 1-877-3GALAXY.