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LA Galaxy edge San Jose Earthquakes, advance to US Open Cup quarterfinals

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After a demoralizing loss to the Earthquakes in MLS play four days ago, the Galaxy earned their revenge, narrowly beating San Jose 1-0 and advancing to the 2015 U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals.

With Sebastian Lletget performing so well for LA, Steven Gerrard set to make his Galaxy debut and strong rumors of Giovani Dos Santos joining the club, the number of spots in an already crowded LA midfield are going to be scarce. With that in mind, it's not surprising this young, motivated Galaxy lineup came out with something to prove. 

Brian Rowe replaced Jaime Penedo in goal, while AJ DeLaGarza, Tommy Meyer, Leonardo and Oscar Sorto made up the backline. Raul Mendiola earned a start on the left wing, Rafael Garcia and Kenney Walker paired in the middle, Nacho Maganto played on the right and Jose Villarreal joined captain Alan Gordon up top.

Right off the bat, a San Jose corner kick was nodded just wide of Brian Rowe's goalmouth by San Jose forward Mark Sherrod.

The Galaxy struck back, almost scoring when an exquisite back heel from Alan Gordon freed Jose Villarreal with space on the top of the box, but his shot was straight at goalkeeper Brian Meredith.

Jose Villarreal was not to be denied a second time, however. Kenney Walker unleashed a laser beam from inside the Galaxy half to the LA forward, and Villarreal calmly collected with a single touch before powerfully firing past Meredith.

Ignacio Maganto was another lively figure. The SuperDraft first round pick beat defender Cordell Cato in isolation before firing a near post shot that required Meredith to fully stretch to make the stop, then soon afterwards earned a free kick outside the area that Villarreal was unable to keep down.

San Jose thought they had gone ahead in the 30th minute when Pierezzi played a free kick that Sherrod headed into the ground under a lackidasical Rowe, however Sherrod was ruled offsides.

The Quakes began to pick up the tempo in the second half as they aimed to take advantage of San Jose's height advantage on set pieces. On successive corners, JJ Koval and Mark Sherrod forced Rowe into quality stops, but otherwise the LA defense held firm.

In the 64th minute, former Chivas USA regular Leonardo Barrera curved a shot from outside the box that barely missed the goalpost.

The Galaxy did not let up on the attack, though the final product was mostly limited to half-chances. Jose Villarreal had a breakaway opportunity but was unable to shoot cleanly with pressure from behind and skied his attempt.

AJ DeLaGarza was briefly shaken up when he slid into the post after braving his body to shield Sherrod from a dangerous oppurtunity, but ended up OK.

The Earthquakes fought to level the match to no avail, only managing to dump the ball in the box without much success, in part thanks to the steady goalkeeping of Brian Rowe, who commanded his box well.

LA may have been robbed late when Jose Villarreal raced to the left end line and floated a perfect cross that Alan Gordon headed suspiciously close to the goal line only for Meredith to pull the ball out of space, as Gordon in particular furiously protested the no-call.

The Galaxy will move on to play Real Salt Lake on July 14th, 7 pm PST at Rio Tinto Stadium.