Landon Donovan's hat trick was great to watch with a tap in, a long shot, and off a throw in; it was like Donovan wanted to put on a clinic of all the different ways he can score. Robbie Keane was happy to play back in the no. 10 role setting up Donovan's first goal and generally playing behind him all match. However, the Dallas goals were much more controversial.
"Terrible officiating, no question about it," said Bruce Arena. "However, we were in position to win the game. What more can you say? It's a shame we can't get better officiating in the game."
Dallas got all three of their goals off of set pieces, and on two of them players were in an offside position. Blas Perez was about a foot in front of last defender Leonardo on Colorado's second goal. After LA came from behind to lead 3-2, there were Dallas players in offside positions impeding Carlo Cudicini as Perez drew the Toros level.
Out of context the result is great, the Galaxy came from behind to get a point on the road in a stadium where they lost earlier in the season. Facing a Dallas side that has failed to earn a victory in now ten straight MLS matches, with the backup keeper in goal and a homegrown 18 year old making his MLS debut on the Dallas back line, the goals LA allowed loom even larger.
With Robbie Rogers scratched due to a coaches decision, Arena shifted the lineup into his opening day configuration with Leonardo on the back line, Sean Franklin in the midfield, and Landon Donovan up top in the Mike Magee role. There were marking mistakes for sure, but the bigger question might still be at the goalkeeper position.
With LA bringing in a new goalkeeper from Panama, and Carlo Cudicini continuing to get beat to the near post, it's possible that Jaime Penedo could take over the starting position sooner than expected. However, don't expect that defense to lay the blame completely at Cudicini's feet.
"To come out of here with a point is good, but it's not good enough," said Omar Gonzalez "It took us a little bit to get into the game and when we're not into the game, we've got to make damn sure they don't score. Tonight when we weren't into it, we let in two goals. That let us down."
Perhaps there was a bit of fatigue after the travel and grind of the International Champions Cup. With Gonzalez saying there were two goals let in when the team wasn't into it, is that a slow start and then yet another late mental lapse? If that's the case, why is the club not into the end of matches?
"Well, it was good at the time. We felt good about ourselves but we got lazy and gave up a real easy free kick and then they scored a goal. At the end of the day it was good that we fought back but when you have the lead with five minutes to go, you should win the game."
It's always worth noting in matches with ref controversy that the team still had to put itself in a position to have the ref make that crucial mistake. Giving away those fouls in positions where Dallas could make a run on goal is a weakness. One that LA will have to work on with Real Salt Lake coming to town next week.
Luckily for the Galaxy, Colorado was only able to get a point against Chivas; Portland were off this week; and that road point puts them back over the red playoff line.