Pat Noonan, Marcelo Sarvas, Michael Stephens, and Hector Jimenez jogging back after an LA Galaxy goal. Photo credit: Eli O'Connor for LAG Confidential.
The LA Galaxy kicked off their preseason schedule against the LA Blue yesterday, and while the final score is meaningless, the Galaxy did win 7-2. The play between Marcelo Sarvas and Michael Stephens was a positive takeaway, as both players had a good showing yesterday. Cementing the "it's just practice" mantra was the complete absence of David Beckham.
The Galaxy's first goal came off a Marcelo Sarvas penalty kick. Shortly after, Mike Magee was replaced by Hector Jimenez as Magee took a bit of a knock. The move was precautionary. Adam Cristman, Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin, and Paolo Cardozo all started and scored in a fast paced first half.
More important than the scoring was getting solid looks at the newcomers. Sarvas looked great on the ball, he's got quick feet, and played with an offensive mind. The benefit in a goal-goal-goal attack is obvious, but the loss of Juninho's holding presence is the flip side of that coin.
Tommy Meyer started in Omar Gonzalez' spot. The most memorable moment with him was Josh Saunders yelling "get back Tommy", Tommy sticking on his mark instead, and his mark shooting the ball behind him on the wing. Meyer wasn't the only one getting time at centerback. Andrew Boyens, and 6'5" Bryan Gaul spent some time back there as well.
Kyle Nakazawa came on in the second half, and took the Galaxy's second penalty of the day. The Torrance, CA native is friends with fellow Bruin Michael Stephens. Stephens mentioned that Philadelphia may not have been the best situation for Nakazawa, and he hopes Kyle can thrive in a better environment.
Last but not least, Jack McBeans cracker of a goal has to get mentioned. McBean was all alone with the last defender and pulled the ball down from a long pass. He bodied the defender to get space, then sent a rocket to the top left corner. The crowd had been subdued most of the day, but that goal got the few fans in attendance howling.
As Bruce Arena said, the worst thing would be to make too much of what happened in this practice game against a lower division opponent. This should have no effect on expectations. However, it's worth concluding that the occasional display of skill was encouraging.