Chester, Pa. – The Los Angeles Galaxy netted three goals in the final 20 minutes to top the Union, 4-1, at PPL Park on Wednesday.
Despite controlling the pace of play for much of the game, the Union (4-4-3) dropped points at home for the second time this season as Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and second half substitute Hector Jimenez all scored late to give the Galaxy (5-3-2) three points.
“I think we had the two-time defending champions on the rope in a big way,” said Union manager John Hackworth, postgame. “Just got to be able to sustain that. I think we got stretched and I don’t think we kept possession of the ball the same way we did in the first half. A lot of silly turnovers early in that second half and we never really got our momentum back, never really put the game on our terms again.”
It would be Los Angeles that struck first, as a deflection from goalkeeper Zac MacMath off a Donovan corner was able to find its way into the back of the net in just the third minute. The Union then took the game to the Galaxy and were rewarded in the 23rd minute when a long Sheanon Williams throw-in found the head of defender Amobi Okugo. The goal was Okugo’s second of the season and the third assist for Williams directly coming from his throw-ins.
“I think we had this team for more than 40 minutes. I think we had a couple of opportunities to go up 2-1 on them, to be honest,” said Williams. “The difference is that they finished their chances and we didn’t. I thought we did a good job for most of the game and whenever we get the chance to play them again we have to put forth a good effort for 90 minutes. If you want to take this as a 4-1 game then go for it, but we threw numbers forward knowing that we wanted to get points at home and [the Galaxy] punished us for it.”
Brazilian midfielder Kleberson made his first start for the Union, exhibiting a strong controlling presence in central midfield, creating space and playing perfectly timed and weighted balls in to space for players running forward.
“I was looking forward to getting my first start and coming here. Adjusting to the American game and waiting on the bench and observing it the past few weeks has been good for me,” Kleberson said via translator after the match. “To get my first start tonight was a big deal for me and I am glad that John Hackworth had the faith in me and I was able to reward him for that confidence.”
The Union cap off a three-game in eight day stretch on Saturday with another match against the Chicago Fire at PPL Park (7:30 p.m., The Comcast Network).
LA Galaxy 4, Philadelphia Union 1
May 15; 7:30 p.m. ET
PPL Park, Chester, PA
LA – Zac MacMath (own goal) 3’
PHI – Amobi Okugo (Sheanon Williams) 23’
LA – Robbie Keane (Landon Donovan, Marcelo Sarvas) 71’
LA – Hector Jimenez (Landon Donovan) 80’
LA – Landon Donovan (Robbie Keane) 87’
PHI – Bakary Soumare 53’ (caution)
PHI – Raymon Gaddis 68’ (caution)
LA – Sean Franklin 85’ (caution)
PHI – Amobi Okugo 90’+1 (caution)
UNION STARTING 11
Zac MacMath, Sheanon Williams, Bakary Soumare (Michael Farfan 81’), Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis, Danny Cruz (Antoine Hoppenot 64’), Brian Carroll, Keon Daniel, Michael Farfan, Sebastien Le Toux (Conor Casey 64’) Jack McInerney.
GALAXY STARTING 11
Carlo Cudicini, Todd Dunivant (Greg Cochrane 81’), Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Tommy Meyer (Sean Franklin 63’), Juninho, Mike Magee, Marcelo Sarvas, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, Jose Villarreal (Hector Jimenez 72’).