Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By ADAM SERRANO
Preseason is all about learning and both the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA felt that a great deal was learned in their preseason scrimmage on Thursday as the Galaxy defeated Chivas, 3-2
Starting a primarily reserve-laden lineup, the Galaxy jumped out to a three-goal lead in the first half. Pat Noonan opened the scoring in the 21st minute off a pass from Adam Cristman. The Galaxy doubled their lead 10 minutes later as Cristman captialized on a Dan Kennedy turnover to give Los Angeles their second goal. Dan Keat rounded out the scoring for the Galaxy in 40th minute off a dish from supplemental draft pick Rafael Garcia.
Chivas shot back in the second half with Mike Lahoud tallying his second goal of the preseason in the 52nd minute. In the 77th minute, Chivas cut the lead to 3-2 as U.S. Under-23 call-up Jorge Villafana set up trailist Cesar Romero for the game's final goal.
The victory was the first of the preseason for the Galaxy.
"I think it was another good performance for our group. The last couple have been pretty good," Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. "Today was a good day in terms of moving fitness along for a number of players that haven't had extended minutes. I think they had a good showing, and again another good opportunity to evaluate players. I think it was a good morning for that."
Lineups, observations and highlights are after the jump:
LA Galaxy: Bill Gaudette (Nick Noble 39′); Justin Davies, Andrew Boyens (Tommy Meyer 77′), Bryan Gaul, J.T. Murray (Todd Dunivant 84′); Hector Jimenez ( Michael Stephens 67′), Dan Keat Rafael Garcia, Pat Noonan; Jack McBean (Kyle Nakazawa 70′), Adam Cristman.
Chivas USA: Dan Kennedy (Tim Melia 65'); James Riley, John Alexander Valencia ( David Junior Lopes 72'), Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic (Ryan Smith 62'); Ben Zemanski (Peter Vagenas 72'), Alejandro Moreno (Miller Bolanos 45'), Nick LaBrocca (Blair Gavin 72'); Mike Lahoud, Juan Pablo Angel (Cesar Romero 45'), Laurent Courtois (Jorge Villafana 62').
Lahoud continued to impress in his 90 minutes of action for the Rojiblancos. The midfielder, who played a variety of positions last season, has shined in a right wing role this preseason and scored his second goal of the docket on Thursday. Lahoud is tied with Romero for the preseason goal scoring lead with two.
One of the finest moments of the match came when Rafael Garcia, a Galaxy supplemental draft pick, assisted on Keat's goal. The Cal-State Northridge product dribbled into the box then beat a Chivas defender before playing the ball to Keat, who finished the chance. Garcia, who played sparingly in the Galaxy's early preseason games has performed well in his last two appearances.
"I think for the most part I've been working and trying to improve day in and day out," said Garcia. "That's the goal for a lot of the young guys like myself, to make the roster. We're working hard every day, taking care of our bodies on and off the field. It's not going to be easy, but we're definitely up for the challenge."
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena confirmed that the Galaxy will likely not be making any additional cuts and will be taking their current roster of 31 players on the team's trip to Tucson, Ariz., which begins on March 21. Jose Villarreal and Omar Gonzalez are the only players not expected to travel.
Pete Vagenas and Blair Gavin were solid for Chivas USA after coming on in the 72nd minute. Replacing Nick LaBrocca and Ben Zemanski respectively, both midfielders were able to settle Chivas and helped create the Rojiblancos second goal.
Galaxy president of business operations Tom Payne is currently transitioning out of the organization. Payne served as the club's president of business operations for three seasons, the highest ranking Galaxy official in that field.
The match had an unannounced vistor as President Barack Obama flew over the match in Marine One en route to Los Angeles International Airport in the first half.