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MLS Friendlies: Galaxy tie Tottenham, Guzan saves Villa in Portland and more

KeaneSpurs (Getty Images)

Robbie Keane's former team and current team battled to a stalemate.

David Junior Lopes cancelled out Gareth Bale's goal to give the Los Angeles Galaxy a 1-1 draw with Tottenham at the Home Depot Center in a meeting that touched on a couple of career stops for Keane, the only one of the Galaxy's three Designated Players to feature in the match.

Bale, who pulled out of Team Great Britain's Olympic squad because of an apparent back injury, headed home Gylfi Sigurdsson's cross in the 17th minute to put Tottenham ahead before Lopes equalized off a header from Hector Jimenez' cross 11 minutes later. 

Veteran American goalkeeper Brad Friedel did not play for Tottenham.

More results from Tuesday's MLS friendlies are after the jump:

PORTLAND TIMBERS 2, ASTON VILLA 2 (Villa wins 5-4 on PKs)

A wild match at Jeld-Wen Field ended in a penalty shootout, as American goalkeeper Brad Guzan came up with the necessary save to give the Premier League side the win.

With noted Aston Villa supporter and award-winning actor Tom Hanks in attendance, Guzan saved Bright Dike's penalty attempt, which accounted for the only miss after the teams dueled to a draw in regulation.

Villa's Ciaran Clark and Matthew Lowton traded goals with Portland's Sebastian Rincon and Rodney Wallace, with Wallace's 81st-minute tally sending the friendly to the penalty round. U.S. international defender Eric Lichaj, who came on as a substitute in the 59th minute, scored one of Villa's five penalty conversions, while Samir Carruthers scored the clincher.

Rincon, Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Franck Songo'o and Charles Renken tallied from the spot for the Timbers.

MONTREAL IMPACT 1, LYON 1 (Lyon wins 4-2 on PKs)

Rookie and 2012 MLS SuperDraft No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wenger returned from a hamstring injury and scored the game-tying goal to force penalties before the Impact ultimately succumbed to the traditional French power. The result was far from the most important aspect of the match, though, as Montreal centerbacks Matteo Ferrari and Nelson Rivas returned from injury, while Italian veteran Alessandro Nesta made his first appearance since signing with the Impact, going 63 minutes.

Jeremy Pied had given Lyon the lead at Stade Saputo in the 28th minute, scoring off a feed from Lisandro Lopez, but Wenger latched onto a ball from Patrice Bernier before finishing from just inside the area to level the scoreline 11 minutes later.

Lamar Neagle and Josh Gardner missed from the penalty spot for Montreal, while Bafetmbi Gomis clinched the victory for Lyon with his spot kick.


Andre Akpan and Kamani Hill found the back of the net to give the Rapids the victory over their Premier League counterparts. Both goals were scored in the first 15 minutes, setting the tone for an enjoyable night for Colorado — something that has been far from the norm with the club losing seven of eight league matches.

Jonathan de Guzman, brother of FC Dallas midfielder Julian de Guzman, scored a consolation goal for Swansea City in the 79th minute off a set piece.


Homegrown Players Aaron Horton and Ben Speas scored for Columbus, giving the club a come-from-behind win over the Potters at Crew Stadium.

Jonathan Walters had given Stoke City the lead in the 23rd minute off a header, but Horton equalized in the 71st minute off a cross from Emilio Renteria. Speas scored an opportunistic winner in the 87th minute, firing home a ball that came off Aaron Schoenfeld's foot to seal the victory for Columbus. 


The reigning French champions were far from kind visitors, going into Livestrong Sporting Park and coasting to victory over a reserve-laden MLS side. With Aurelien Collin, Jimmy Nielsen and Graham Zusi on duty with the MLS All-Star team and important league matches and a U.S. Open Cup final on the horizon, Sporting Kansas City trotted out a makeshift lineup, with the only regular among the starting XI being central midfielder Julio Cesar.

Gaetan Charbonnier opened the scoring for Montpellier in the 39th minute, and Emanuel Herrera added the insurance tallies in the 72nd minute and in second-half stoppage time to account for the scoring.


What did you think of the friendly results? Surprised at any of the final scores? Were you entertained by any of the matches?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. What was Keane doing with his hands up in the Tottenham player’s chode? Long time no see! That was just weird. Commentators were like: “uh…….” also.. why did the producers at espn choose to show it in slow motion?? One of the crazier things I’ve seen in a soccer game.

  2. I did not get to attend myself, but the AV @ Timbers game was sold out (granted with some unused tickets showing empty seats on the east side) and the crowd was rowdy and supportive, as per Portland’s usual. Just because you don’t care doesn’t mean no one else does.

  3. I wonder if he can play in preseason games for Stoke within the USA even if he might have work permit problems playing in the UK. He’s only been spot playing for Houston lately but he has to be in better fitness and form than your average pre-season player, still.

    I agree, work permit no given, they let in EJ, they once denied Friedel in his prime. He won’t make 75% so it devolves into the subjective appeals process.

  4. Then don’t pay?? Has anyone put a gun to your head? If so notify the police. But why do you care if other people want to watch soccer?

    (Well said, mickeymoney)

  5. Well call me a snob, but it seems to me that paying $50 to see the second string Galaxy play against a second string Totenham is a bit farcical. If you are flying half-way around the world to showcase your team and Market them to the US public, you would think you would get to play more tha the reserves, But that happened last nite when the Galaxy did not play Donovan or Beckham because of the All star game today and the fact that Beckham flies to London and the Dallas MLS game is the next weekend. Arena would rather have his squad ready for that game than seeing off Totenham. And this is pretty much the story on more than a few MLS teams,

    As the stature of the MLS grows, fans will want to seen their home team at full strength to tackle the Euro Giants (even in their pre-season) If the MLS doesn’t recognize this fact and continues to look upon these friendlies as extra cash, and makes no adjustments, it disrespects the competition, the fans and players and the game itself.

  6. I think Cameron’s contract is tied to him receiving a UK work permit, which will be routinely denied as he has not participated in 75% of the USMNT games the last year. It will them go to the appeals board were it is expected he will be approved. But this is weeks off and there is no “sure thing”. If he “joins” Stoke in Orlando, it will be very informal and very unofficial.

  7. These friendlies are really glorified scrimmages. I really don’t see what the problem is with them. Coaches in MLS are treating them as such now and are not running their full first line-up out there for 90. If people found out that Tottenham was scrimmaging LA in a practice session I am sure that they would scramble to try and see it. Playing the game in an exhibition format allows that to happen. If you don’t want to see it don’t go.

  8. I agree… I mean, I would be so pissed if my local independent league baseball team only got to play a team like the Washington Nationals instead of the Yankees.

    No, wait, actually it would still be cool as hell!

  9. I really don’t know who’s worse the Eurosnob or the The MLS-American soccer fan. All thy both do is complain. Let’s go back 15-20 years ago when there was no league and no football on TV will that make you whiney b**ch made p***ies happy. Who does this help everyone who loves the game of football first off it helps the Euro club to prepare for there season and maybe open up a new partnership across the seas in which there fans may know who you are and might even you club may make a new fan. It also gives players from both teams a chance to get some semi competive run since the MLS is doing such a great job with their reserve football league and developing new talent. It lso put’s players in the shop window for the future. You recruit a Euro star who may just love the states the city and your team and they might take a liking to some young talent that they may want to buy. I really do hate some you guys rant ova!!!

  10. I generally favor MLS play because you know it counts and your team will show up close to if not at full strength week in week out. You can’t assume that for CCL, USOC, or friendlies.

    Yes, at a certain level, a friendly with Valencia might still be more attractive than Portland coming to town right now. However, when it moves ahead of the local rivalry (Dallas) or any decent MLS matchup (DC, KC, etc.) I think you’re a Europhilic nutjob.

    Cause to me if you REALLY want to see Chelsea play, buy a plane ticket and watch them at the Bridge. Cause what you’re seeing here is the equivalent of NFL preseason games, the starters take some snaps and go through the motions, then they spend their time looking at kids and signings who may or may not even see minutes in the EPL.

  11. I also think if you make the games more of an invitational tournament and less of a stop on the foreign team’s self-organized tour, we might have more control over scheduling, and more of a power position in the relationship. We can set the tournament for a Friday-Sunday one weekend, play two games, take off a MLS weekend. It can be planned into the schedule. But if you just accept a friendly on a tour you might be asked in April at the tail end of the EPL season, at which point it’s, where can I squeeze this into a MLS schedule already off to the printer.

    Also, as long as MLS is an awkward 19 teams, I’d think a “friendly weekend” period could be built into the schedule like a bye, tournament or not.

  12. true, expect MLS teams re-arrange their schedules when they advance into USOC and CCL all the time.

    I just think it would be wise to leave the last wed-sun of July free of any MLS matches if they really like these friendlies.

    On the side its not that bad watching some of the reserves, as they can be pretty good and never get a shot during important games.

  13. When both teams aren’t playing stars (very long at least) and a lousy team like Portland ties Aston Villa, it calls for significant discounting. But when American teams are involved it is a sign of respect (explicit or implied), and that helps sell the league to investors, interested players, etc. Also, at least in theory, maybe the games can create relationships that can lead to player loans, training opportunities, etc.

  14. Per twitter feed of Houston Chronicle reporter, Geoff Cameron has officially signed with Stoke City and will join the team in Orlando for their intra-Stoke international friendly (that last bit makes it thread-relevant somehow, right?).

  15. You have to be joking… who would want to see teams from the one of the leagues in the world take on the home town team?

  16. These type of games, where the home stars don’t appear as well as some of the foreign stars, diminish the game and the nature of the friendlies themselves.

    It can be layed right on the doorstep of the MLS!!

    Until the MLS gives teams the rights to postpone/defer league matches, these friendlies will always be second-rate.

    Right now, because of contractual obligations with TV/sponsors/stadiums/etc, The MLS does not allow teams to postpone a league match (or virtually any match. for that matter) unless it is a matter of public safety.

    In the early days of the MLS, you pretty much had the Open Cup and the League and with only 10-14 teams, you really had to dig to get 30-40 matches for the season.

    Now we have the Concacaf Champions League, The US OPEN Cup,League play, and now Foreign friendlies, World challenges and maybe on the Horizon Copa Liberatores and who know what else.

    Trying to wedge these matches around the set-in-stome League calendar is getting really difficult., if not impossible for some teams.

    If these mid-summer friendlies are to get any serious traction and let the teams play their best players, The MLS will have to start letting the teams postpone/reschedule MLS matches.

  17. I get the Sounders drawing 60k against The Euro winners while being played on ESPN. $$$$
    Don’t like it, but I get it.

    Aston Villa, Swansea, Stoke City ?
    Why would anyone want to go see those teams ?

    These should win a Heidi Award…..Let’s get back to our regularly scheduled broadcast.

  18. After seeing some good results i think its a positive for most teams involved i just wish they we not in the most busy time of the year.

    For example this was Colorado’s 6 or 7th game this month and Seattle is on Saturday. Build this fixture into the schedule next year and it will go over better with the fans.

  19. Logically and chronologically for the teams from different calendars to play each other SOMEONE has to be in-season. Every so often a MLS side tours Europe for preseason and unless they are on our calendar or winter break, they’re playing when we’re technically not. Or the Galaxy tour Asia and the A-league is in progress.

    It’s the basic word friendly itself that renders it meaningless, not the timing or even the particular teams hooking up.

    That being said, in terms of pride, MLS and its stadia are to the point where it’s borderline insulting for us to be a neutral friendly site.

    Maybe we should set up our own tournament(s) like La Manga. There are places like SoCal already attractive to foreign teams where we could play games in reliable and mild weather. Maybe this would give Chivas some prestige and something to do. Or maybe they could play in San Diego or something.

  20. well, for MLS and North American soccer these games are not meaningless, but they are less meaningful than they used to be 🙂

  21. Only in the MLS do they playing meaningless friendlies in the middle of the season.
    I kind of get if it is a big draw to make money.
    What was attendence at these games?


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