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.”