NEWCASTLE AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 26: Landon Donavan kicks the ball during an LA Galaxy training session at EnergyAustralia Stadium on November 26 2010 in Newcastle Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
The LA Galaxy defeated the Portland Timbers 4-0 in a reserve league match today. The match saw Landon Donovan trying to get fit for Friday, while Edson Buddle and Christian Wilhelmsson tried to get into match fitness. It also saw Portland Reserves dropping like timber, as the heat took its toll on everyone.
Edson Buddle and Christian Wilhelmsson both started as they try to get back to match fitness. Neither had much of an impact on the proceedings, though Wilhelmsson did pick up a yellow card when he decided a Portland defender hadn't controlled the ball, and thus the proper thing to do was bum rush him - knocking him over his keeper who was on all fours. Safe to say Wilhelmsson will bring a physicality to the Galaxy if nothing else.
Landon Donovan came in at the 57 minute mark along with Pat Noonan, relieving Edson Buddle and Christian Wilhelmsson. Donovan and Noonan lifted the energy on the pitch, and within eight minutes the two of them had combined for two goals. First, Donovan sent a ball in from the top of the penalty area which Noonan tapped into the back of the net. Then, Donovan corrals the ball near the corner flag, drops it for Noonan, runs into the box to take the cross for Noonan and one touched it in off his chest. It was fun to watch the obvious disparity in talent level between Donovan and the field.
Raul Mendiola also made an appearance late in the match, and looked sharp hunting the ball in the box. In a match which was a third rehabbing starters, a third prospects, and a third replacement level players, it was the rehabbing starters that made the most noise, but Mendiola just oozes starting XI.