Brian Perk joined an exclusive club today, thought it's exclusivity is being tried. The Los Angeles Galaxy have trotted four different men into the goal, and all four of them have managed a clean sheet. It's still nothing to shake a fist at, a clean sheet in your first start, especially when that involves saving a PK. Seattle managed three shots on goal, and Perk managed to make saves on both of them. However that third one was blocked by Omar Gonzalez, who used a fair amount of arm. Gonzalez admitted after the match that it was a deserved penalty, but that didn't matter to Brian Perk. Knowing Fredy Montero likes to look one way and then shot another, Perk guessed right and Gonzalez cleared the ball on what was really the most significant play of the match.
Speaking of Fredy Montero, not only was it his shot that resulted in the penalty, and also he was the one to take said penalty, his play directly resulted in the loss of one of the Galaxy's back four. Montero kicked AJ DeLaGarza in the face, causing him to drop to the pitch later with a fairly obvious concussion. His condition wasn't known after the match. Omar didn't fair much better, suffering a left hip pointer after a collision with Roger Levesque. He could walk on it after the match, but trying to run caused him to double over in pain.
Down two centerbacks and with their third string keeper in goal, the nil-nil result doesn't look to bad.
"I think the final score is a fair result," said coach Bruce Arena. "A game that was pretty even. I would have liked the opportunity to make a couple of substitutions in the second half, but obviously when you have to make changes to centerbacks that's pretty difficult."
David Beckham reappeared tonight after missing a couple matches with back spasms. He didn't expect to play, especially after it came out that it was a fracture, but the Cortizone shots he got early in the week took and he wasn't in too much pain. Bruce Arena said he knew he could get 20-25 minutes out of Beckham, which is fine. The worry, of course, is doing long term damage while playing on pain killers, but I'm no doctor.
Landon Donovan also made his return after a month long stint with the US National team. He himself criticized his play, saying he didn't have a great game. Bruce Arena alluded to the fact that he wasn't used for some of those later matches in the tournament, which can throw off a player's rhythm. Landon had the team's first shot on goal at the 50' mark, but he cautioned that's a misleading stat. Juan Pablo Angel in the box or Mike Magee diving to complete a cross were probably better opportunities for goals than Donovan's. Juan Pablo Angel's strike at the 68' mark, which Keller got a fingertip on as it hit the crossbar, was probably the Galaxy's best chance of the night.
All in all, the Galaxy didn't play well, but they keep the unbeaten streak alive, now at 11. As Bruce Arena said after the last nil-nil draw, these are games the Galaxy lost last year. The teams seems to be avoiding midsummer swoon, however they'll need to pick up their form as CONCACAF Champions' League and the stretch run of the MLS season await them. They were able to hold steady with Seattle tonight, but they'll need to keep space between themselves, Seattle and Real Salt Lake. Those teams are sure to make hot runs too, and just good enough won't last.