The Galaxy played better in the second half, but a silly penalty in the 59’ put the game out of reach. Yohance Marshall, in only his second MLS game, got tied up with Dane Richards in the box and earned an automatic yellow. Juan Pablo Angel took the kick and put it easily in the back of the net.
Coach Bruce Arena said:
New York deserved to win tonight, they outplayed us in the first half. No question about that, their midfield dominated ours. First half was very disappointing, no pressure on the ball...our team shape was poor, and that's on me, very disappointed at how we can out and played the first 45.
Indeed, there seemed to be some confusion on the pitch with David Beckham making his first start. Donovan and Beckham often ended up on the same side of the field, and passes came into the box without people in formation to take advantage of them.
Dane Richards, of course, was also responsible for the Red Bulls first goal, a rebound off a Joel Lindpere goal which bounced off the left post and on to Richard's foot, with Todd Dunivant looking out of position and unable to clear the ball away.
Coach Hanse Backe said:
Massive on the road win for us, of course, winning two nil, having the clean sheet. [I felt] we deserved this match, within the first three minutes we controlled the game. The passing game was excellent as was the possession; in a way LA had huge problems to defend against Marquez...in the second half they got some chances but I'd say one of [our] best performances.
New York was able to come in and get three points on the road against the best team in the league, and they did it by pressing the Galaxy’s young centerbacks. With Omar Gonzalez and Gregg Berhalter out, Yohance Marshall and Leonardo had to pick up the slack, and mistakes by them and Todd Dunivant were key in both NY goals. The Galaxy back four looked lost against Rafael Marquez and Juan Pablo Angel. A.J. DeLaGarza coming in for an injured Leonardo at the beginning of the second half tightened things up a bit, but not enough.
Bouna Coundoul earned the win and the clean sheet, saving three LA Galaxy shots. Donovan Ricketts, who at one time had the best shots against average rating in the league let in more than he saved, with two goals allowed and only one save.
It wasn't the intention of Bruce Arena to have Beckham go the whole 90, but with necessary substitutions for injured Leonardo and Kirovski he had little chance but to keep Beckham in with the Galaxy down two. One of the unfortunate truths of the MLS is that top teams often have depth level with a bottom tier EPL team. Of the Galaxy's three subs, only Eddie Lewis has played a full year in MLS.
The Galaxy's next challenge is an "away" match against Chivas USA, next Saturday at the Home Depot Center.