In a matchup between a young back line and a veteran offensive unit, the young guns showed up their elders, with the Red Bulls finding a way to defeat the LA Galaxy 0-1 at the Home Depot Center Saturday evening. The Galaxy showered NY with long balls, but outstanding play by rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara and ineffective finishing but the Galaxy vets doomed this match from the beginning.
It's not that the Galaxy lacked opportunities. Sean Franklin sent in the cross from well behind the midfield line in the 13' that found Robbie Keane. The ball had traveled so far it took a wicked bounce, and Keane could only chip it over Meara. It would have been in the back of the net, but the ball was cleared off the back line by Markus Holgersson.
David Beckham completed 57 successful passes tonight and had six successful crosses as the Galaxy finished with 32 crosses on the night. With the Red Bulls playing nine players behind the ball all evening, the middle was completely taken away making the long cross the Galaxy's sole offensive weapon.
Five Beckham created chances were particularly potent. There was the right side cross in the 60th minute which reached Sean Franklin in the box. Franklin's attempt went high and to the right, better finishing would have netted an equalizer.
In the 79', Beckham found Chad Barrett in the box, but after controlling the ball, Barrett's attempt from the center of the box sailed high. In the 83', Beckham found Pat Noonan's head in the box after a failed corner, but Noonan's header was too high.
If you're noticing a pattern, so did everyone else at The Home Depot Center. The Galaxy continually got into good positions, but lacked focus on the finish.
Beckham also had some key passes from about the midfield line, outside of those right side crosses. It was his pass that found Landon Donovan outside the box in the 16', then Donovan dribbled along the edge of the box before striking a slow roller at Ryan Meara. Beckham also found Mike Magee from behind the midfield line just after halftime, but Magee's attempt at the bottom left corner was saved.
In the 74' Landon Donovan found Chad Barrett in the box with a through ball. Barrett could chose between taking the shot or sending a hopeful cross (a problem he's had before this season) and the attempt went harmlessly wide.