The LA Galaxy battled Real Salt Lake hard all game, but tired legs caught up to them and the team got run over late with the final score 3-1. It's one of the unfortunate things that can happen when a team raises a championship banner. The crowd is loud, the stadium is packed with fans still buzzing from the Cup win, and the team just lays a goose egg. The Galaxy had a 1-0 lead after Beckham found Edson Buddle in the box, but then allowed three straight goals to close out the game.
The first goal was a thing of soccer beauty. Juninho received the ball from Landon Donovan at about the middle of the attacking half. Juninho found David Beckham on the end line, and Beckham's long bendy cross was perfectly placed for Edson Buddle. Buddle had no trouble heading the ball past Nick Rimando to put the Galaxy up 1-0.
The second goal was less spectacular. To put it succinctly, the ball just sort of went in. Sean Franklin was attempting to head a Ned Grabavoy pass back to Josh Saunders, but Saunders was out of position leading to an own goal. The game was now tied 1-1 with the Galaxy responsible for both goals.
The game remained open, however, which allowed RSL to get their second goal. This one was quite legitimate as Ned Grabavoy in the box found Javier Morales who smashed it past Josh Saunders. The third RSL goal came in much the same fashion, with Fabian Espondola finding himself with the ball inside the six yard box and smashing it home.
The panic button should remain safely within it's box for now, as it's dangerous to make too much of a tired team losing it's legs late in the game. The game was open throughout, but for most of it the Galaxy were step for step offensively with RSL. CONCACAF Champions League is the more important competition, but it's obvious there are holes in the defense that need some serious work moving forward.
For more on this match, check out LAG Confidential.