Carson, CA (May 1, 2010) – Philadelphia Union (1-4-0) fell 3-1 to the LA Galaxy (5-0-1) in their first trip to the Home Depot Center on Saturday night, with Edson Buddle extending his league leading goal tally to nine on the season.
It didn’t take long for the Galaxy to get on the board. Buddle broke free into the left side of Philadelphia’s penalty area in the opening minute and slid a cross to a streaking A.J. DeLaGarza, who calmly knocked it in for a 1-0 lead just 53 seconds into the match.
“When you get scored on in the first minute of the game, it obviously changes how we like to do things,” said Union forward Alejandro Moreno after the loss. “We tried to get into the rhythm of the game and we really couldn’t catch up. We didn’t adjust well and after giving up the first goal, we let up an unfortunate second goal and after that it was very up hill.”
The Union settled down after the early goal, and Andrew Jacobson nearly surprised LA with an equalizer in the 6th minute off of a rocket from distance, but Donovan Ricketts was able to rein it in.
Philadelphia controlled possession for much of the first 25 minutes, but it was LA to convert again and take a two goal advantage in the 27th minute. Landon Donovan’s corner kick was headed on goal by Alan Gordon, and the rebound off of Chris Seitz's save was recovered by Buddle, who attempted a back heel that was blocked by Michael Orozco before collecting the loose ball again and shoveling it into the left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.
LA put the game nearly out of reach right before stoppage time on Buddle’s second goal of the night. Michael Stephens found Landon Donovan slicing through the middle of Philadelphia’s defense and Donovan took two touches before finding a wide-open Buddle, who had plenty of time to set up his shot and find the lower left corner of the goal.
The match went from bad to worse when Stefani Miglioranzi was handed a red card right before the halftime whistle. Miglioranzi went in hard attempting to win a ball that was sitting idle between Donovan and Juninho, but the midfielder’s tackle took out the legs of Juninho and was deemed reckless by the referee. The card all but sealed the Union’s fate and marked the third time in five league games that Philadelphia was forced to play the entire second half with 10 men.
The Union battled in the second half, managing to get a goal back despite being down a man on Jack McInerney’s first-ever MLS goal. After a turnover in Philadelphia’s territory, Fred dribbled through the middle of the field and found an on-rushing McInerney at the edge of the area. McInerney took a touch and slid the ball past Ricketts to bring the score to 3-1 in the 84th minute.
“I thought we showed some character in the second half,” said Moreno. “We stayed organized, we worked really hard for each other and we got a goal back. We showed a little bit of some of the things we can do well. Certainly we’d like to play the match with eleven men on the field and not give up so many goals either.”
The Union were able to get the best of the Galaxy in the second half, but the 3-1 loss was the club’s third straight in league play and fourth in a row overall. The expansion side will look to turn things around next Saturday, May 8, when they travel to Rio Tinto Stadium to take on Real Salt Lake, the defending MLS Cup champions.
LA – A.J. DeLaGarza (Edson Buddle, Michael Stephens) 1
LA – Edson Buddle (Unassisted) 27
LA – Edson Buddle (Landon Donovan, Michael Stephens) 45
PHI – Jack McInerney (Fred) 84
Philadelphia Union (1-4-0) -- Chris Seitz, Cristian Arrieta, Danny Califf, Michael Orozco, Jordan Harvey (Amobi Okugo 74), Andrew Jacobson (Kyle Nakazawa 61), Shea Salinas, Stefani Miglioranzi, Roger Torres (Jack McInerney 56), Fred, Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutions not used: Brad Knighton, Danny Mwanga, Nick Zimmerman, Toni Stahl
TOTAL SHOTS: 6; SHOTS ON GOAL: 3; FOULS: 11; OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 5
Los Angeles Galaxy (5-0-1) -- Donovan Ricketts, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Michael Stephens, Chris Birchall, Juninho (Alex Cazumba 62), Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle (Tristan Bowen 75), Alan Gordon (Clint Mathis 70)
Substitutions not used: Josh Saunders, Bryan Jordan, Jovan Kirovski, Chris Klein
TOTAL SHOTS: 14; SHOTS ON GOAL: 8; FOULS: 10; OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 2
PHI -- Stefani Miglioranzi (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 47+
PHI -- Kyle Nakazawa (caution; Reckless Tackle) 73
LA -- Omar Gonzalez (caution; Reckless Tackle) 77
Referee: Yader Reyes
Referee's Assistants: Chris Strickland; Eric Boria
4th Official: Jair Marrufo
Time of Game: 1:53