Galaxy Clip Red Bulls Wings, Win 1-0

Early Edson Buddle goal sees Galaxy through in physical, quick paced match.

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Galaxy Clip Red Bulls Wings, Win 1-0

Edson Buddle’s 10’ goal proved to be the match for the Los Angeles Galaxy, as they held on to win 1-0. “When you’re on the road its pretty critical if you can get the first goal,” said Galaxy coach Dave Sarachan. “It takes the wind out of their sails a little bit, takes the crowd out of it a little bit.”

Edson Buddle had two other shots this game, both of them off-target, but proved a great target for Landon Donovan and Juninho, who did a great job getting the ball upfield in transition. “I thought Edson (Buddle), besides the goal, had a great night,” said coach Sarachan. “He was just a handful for them.”

Omar Gonzalez is rapidly emerging as a leader in the back for the Galaxy, closing space quickly and not allowing New York to break away. He and his partner in the back Gregg Berhalter deserve a ton of credit reestablishing a Galaxy defense which began the season to great accolades but had been subject to criticism lately. “Tonight, me and Gregg were just talking about being really aggressive,” said Gonzalez. “I think that me and Gregg did really well to just get under their skin and make sure they didn’t get too many touches on the ball.” One improvement in the back from recent weeks was management of the offsides line. A few of the many goals given up the last four weeks were on close plays in the back, but tonight the Galaxy were on top of who was behind them, luring New York into 8 offsides calls.

Rafael Marquez’ turnover led to the Galaxy goal, but his coach was quick to defend him after the match, “It’s happens in football today, if you’re in the middle of the park and make some mistakes or side passes, on the highest levels, you will pay a price.” Marquez himself wasn’t too up on his performance, “I am not happy at all. I need more time to perform to be at my best level. We had many chances to tie the game, but we had no luck to achieve that.”

One of the unfortunate side effects of MLS’ summer based schedule is that designated players from overseas often come in at pre-season form, which is the case with both Thierry Henry and Marquez. By the time they’re in shape, the MLS is heading to its postseason. Landon Donovan was up on the increase of DPs in the league, “It was great, we need that in our league. We want the opportunity to play in full stadiums and I guess now with (Thierry) Henry and (Rafa) Márquez here, they’re going to have a lot more fans. For us it makes the game a little more intense, a little more real, and it’s fun to play them.”

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Galaxy Lead 1 - 0 At Halftime

After weeks of facing teams content to wait for the Galaxy to make a mistake, the Galaxy have looked confident against a team looking to press as much as the Galaxy will. The Galaxy back four were able to withstand early New York pressure, keeping the Galaxy from giving up the early goal that has plagued them in the last six weeks.

The Galaxy countered that early pressure with a fantastic ball from Juninho to Edson Buddle, which Buddle stuck neatly in the back of the net. Juninho, with Landon Donovan has made the field feel small, getting the ball forward quickly in transition. Buddle’s finish shows a precision he lacked against Chicago in the Galaxy’s last MLS league match, where he struck two early chances right at the keeper.

New York has had chances, but rebounds aren’t landing at the feet of support players in the box, as was happening the last few weeks.

Toward the end of the half, New York was able to stretch the field, with Marquez working further and further from the midfield line, but Omar Gonzalez showed great closing speed, preventing anything from breaking through the back.

New York’s best chance came off a free kick in stoppage time, a header which clanged safely off the crossbar.

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