RECAP: Crew vs. Galaxy
Sean Franklin punctuated his stellar 2011 MLS campaign with his
first-ever MLS goal and helped the LA Galaxy beat the Columbus Crew by
1-0 at the Home Depot Center on Wednesday and extend their MLS unbeaten
streak to 13 games.
Franklin’s goal midway through the second half broke open what had
been a frustrating night for the Galaxy, who had been ineffective with
their 16 corner kick attempts. But the right back accounted for that and
took some of the pressure off the team’s ineffective set-piece night.
The Galaxy made some slight changes to the starting lineup as coach
Bruce Arena went with Jovan Kirovski in the midfield while Gregg
Berhalter paired with A.J. DeLaGarza in central defense.
Columbus forward Andrés Mendoza fell to the field very early and was
immediately taken off, as Tommy Heinemann replaced Mendoza in the
second minute. Columbus took some time to settle in with Heinemann as
the lone striker up top.
Robbie Rogers nearly fooled Josh Saunders with a 27-yard rocket in
the 18th minute but Saunders made the stop. But the ball bounced off
Saunders’ hands, bounced off the goal line and then safely into the LA
Landon Donovan sliced apart Columbus’ defense with a penetrating run
through the heart of the field in the 30th minute and laid the ball off
to Juan Pablo Ángel, but the Galaxy striker’s chip on an empty net
sailed wide of the goal.
Moments later, Miguel López tested William Hesmer with a header from
15 yards but Hesmer made a diving save and batted the ball away.
Midway through the second half, the Galaxy finally got the break
they needed. David Beckham swung a free kick on goal, and the shot hit
the wall and bounced out to Franklin. Earlier, Franklin had lined up a
similar attempt but Crew 'keeper William Hesmer made the save. This
time, Franklin ripped a 30-yarder that delfected off Eric Gehrig and
into the back of the net.
Columbus felt some pressure to attack but could not mount too much pressure despite the need to find and equalizer.
About the only blemish late in the match was a yellow card Beckham
picked up in stoppage time. The booking means the English midfielder
will miss the Galaxy’s next game, a July 30 match at Vancouver.
With the victory, the Galaxy improve to 11-2-9 and get some breathing
room on second-place Seattle. LA next take on Manchester City in the
World Football Challenge on Sunday.
Columbus, meanwhile, drop to 7-6-7 and miss a chance to pull even with
first-place Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference standings. The Crew
next host Portland on Saturday.
LA -- Sean Franklin 1 (unassisted) 70
LA -- Gregg Berhalter (caution; Reckless Tackle) 16
CLB -- Julius James (caution; Tactical Foul) 65
LA -- Juninho (caution; Reckless Foul) 85
LA -- David Beckham (caution; Delaying a Restart) 92+
Columbus Crew -- William Hesmer, Sebastian Miranda,
Chad Marshall, Julius James, Josh Gardner (Jeff Cunningham 88), Eddie
Gaven, Bernardo Anor (Justin Meram 75), Emmanuel Ekpo, Eric Gehrig,
Robbie Rogers, Andres Mendoza (Tommy Heinemann 4).
Substitutes Not Used: Rich Balchan, Kevin Burns, Dejan Rusmir, Andy Gruenebaum.
LA Galaxy -- Josh Saunders, Sean Franklin, A.J.
DeLaGarza, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Jovan Kirovski (Michael
Stephens 83), David Beckham, Juninho, Landon Donovan, Juan Pablo Angel
(Bryan Jordan 85), Miguel Lopez (Mike Magee 69).
Substitutes Not Used: Omar Gonzalez, Hector Jimenez, Jack McBean, Brian Perk.
Referee: Andrew Chapin
Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey; Matthew Kreitzer
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Clear and 69 degrees