Many will say it's the best MLS match we've seen all year, and certainly it was the best match of the day. The Los Angeles Galaxy were able to draw with the red hot New York Red Bulls, but were not able to go ahead. This after conceding the opening goal in the 4' is a positive sign for the Galaxy moving forward. That early New York Red Bulls goal was scored by none other than Thierry Henry, who has been on a tear as of late. Henry's quick footwork gave him the space to push the ball past Donovan Ricketts, after a well placed through ball from Dane Richards.
The Galaxy looked on their heels, especially considering that no team has been able to come back from a first goal this MLS season. However, the game remained open, and the Galaxy were able to put forward eight chances in the first half, one of which counted. Landon Donovan barely had to move his head to knock in a brilliant corner kick from David Beckham. Beckham had a few nice crosses tonight, though the timing seemed to just be a bit off in the first half. Landon could only redirect an early Beckham cross softly to the keeper, and Juan Pablo Angel had a header called back on offsides in the 26'. The Galaxy had four offsides calls in a first half where a bit of jitters may have played a role. Donovan had a chance at a go ahead goal shortly after his equalizer, but after dribbling past the keeper, Donovan's shot was knocked clear by Tim Ream. The call on the pitch that the ball had not crossed the line was quite controversial.
"If you guys watch games this weekend and in the first part of the year I don’t think you’ve seen a game like that," said Galaxy Captain Landon Donovan.
Chad Barrett started up front with Juan Pablo Angel and had three shots all on goal, but none that were especially trying for keeper Bouna Coundoul. Barrett went out for Miguel Lopez in the 80th minute; Lopez missed one and a half matches after a knee knock in the match against Portland. The Red Bulls also made a late striker switch, bringing in Juan Agudelo for Luke Rodgers. Agudelo almost had a go ahead goal on a roller, but it struck off the left post.
The draw may leave no one satisfied, but it was a fair result after a well played game. For all the deserved hype that has been placed behind Real Salt Lake, the Galaxy and Red Bulls tonight showed the level of play that can be found in MLS. Both the goals and assists tonight were tallied by players with many years on their national teams, three out of the four with high pressure World Cup experience. While they may not be remembered for as long as their World Cup goals, the goals scored tonight by Donovan and Henry will go a long way to furthering the continual growth of MLS.