The LA Galaxy (5-3-5, 20 pts) managed to do a difficult thing tonight, held the San Jose Earthquakes off to manage a 1-0 victory in the California Clasico on the road. In years past the Galaxy-Earthquake tilt at Stanford Stadium has seen early leads for LA and capitulation toward the end to give San Jose to victory. Tonight one Gyasi Zardes goal was enough, as a young back line held San Jose without a shot on goal until the dying minutes of the match.
Victory stretched the Galaxy's unbeaten streak to five matches, a length the Galaxy haven't seen for a streak like this since 2012. This was Zardes' fourth straight start in all competitions as a striker, and over that stretch he's managed to score four goals. That includes a goal each in his last two MLS appearances, scoring the lone goal for LA against Chivas and San Jose.
Marcelo Sarvas got his first MLS start since coming back from injury, and managed his second assist. He pulled down a perfect Robbie Keane cross inside the penalty area, and took the time to set up Zardes who smashed the ball into the top corner. Sarvas' last start came on April 19th, though he came on as a substitute against Chivas USA.
The back line were the real stars in this tightly contested match, with the Galaxy getting their first clean sheet since April 12th to break San Jose's eight match home win streak against LA. Bruce Arena left Leonardo on the bench and started Tommy Meyer and Kofi Opare next to each other, saying after the match that Meyer had the best match of his career.
The pair, along with a fine defensive performance from Robbie Rogers, were able to keep San Jose from getting good looks on goal for most of the match. When Steven Lenhart was finally able to put a good ball on target late in the match, Jaime Penedo was there to make a diving but comfortable save.