Omar Gonzalez and Chad Barrett score goals on either side of halftime to give the Galaxy an early lead in Group A of the CONCACAF Champions League. The Galax defeated LD Alajuelense in the second of six group stage matches.
Omar Gonzalez scored off a David Beckham corner kick in the 38th minute. Gonzalez powered his way over the Alajuelense defender and sent a glancing header into the back of the net.
Chad Barrett scored a goal in his return from an ankle injury on a beautiful buildup from the Galaxy. David Beckham had the ball in the Galaxy midfield and threaded a ball to Sean Franklin on the right side. Franklin then sent a one-time ball into the box. Robbie Keane made a near post run and Chad Barrett came in behind him and slotted the ball home.
The Galaxy’s defense was staunch as usual posting another shutout, the third straight in all competitions. Josh Saunders was forced into five saves, but the Galaxy held the majority of possession throughout the game. Alajuelense had a difficult time building up in the midfield and attack and resorted to long balls.
Pablo Antonio Gabas was dangerous for Alajuelense. He had an opportunity to level the score when a botched A.J. De la Garza clearance fell to him in the box. Gabas had the ball and hit it wide from three yards out at a sharp angle.
The Galaxy had two notable negative talking points to take away from the game. Gregg Berhalter left the game in the 27th minute with a foot injury. He appeared to injure the top of his foot and may be out for an extended period of time. The second was a Juninho red card in the 88th minute which rules him out of the Morelia match. Juninho was issued the red card for leading with his elbow while going for a header. It was a questionable call and could have easily been a yellow.
David Beckham picked up a yellow card in the game for arguing with the assistant referee. He has a knack for arguing with the referees. He picked up a silly yellow a couple weeks ago for arguing that the wall was closer than 10 yards. This card was picked up for arguing that the assistant referee was too close to the corner flag, thus not allowing Beckham to take the kick.
The Galaxy took the lead in Group A with the victory. Morelia of Mexico won 4-0 at home against Motagua on Thursday night. Morelia and Alajuelense both have three points while the Galaxy are atop the group with six. Their next game in the tournament will be September 13 at Morelia. This will be the Galaxy’s first road game after starting group play with two home games.