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LA Galaxy fall to San Jose Earthquakes

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Shea Salinas header, Leonardo red card doom LA

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The star-studded Galaxy offense came back to Earth Friday night in San Jose, as the Earthquakes rode a Shea Salinas header to defeat the LA Galaxy 1-0 at a packed Avaya Stadium.

Just 20 seconds into the match, Robbie Rogers sent a floating cross into the box that Gyasi Zardes outjumped left back Shaun Francis to win, but his header was just wide of the post.

The early action was a bit of a chess match: With Gerrard dropping back to collect the ball, LA held steady possession and probed for an opening while San Jose were content with sitting back and allowing the Galaxy to pass the ball out of the back. In the 17th minute following a prolonged spell of possession, Keane sent a low swerving cross into the path of Zardes who should have done better but hopelessly skied the volley attempt.

The game has a way of punishing missed opportunities, and a minute later San Jose went ahead on a simple sequence. Right back Marvell Wynne sent a cross into the box and forward Quincy Amarikwa got on the wrong side of Gyasi Zardes to send a header right at Donovan Ricketts. Ricketts made the save, but the rebound bounced right into the waiting run of Shea Salinas who headed home.

In the the 38th minute Chris Wondolowski did well to crash into the Galaxy area and smash a header off the post as the Galaxy continued to struggle with service into the box.

On the other hand, the SJ defense did well to break up several dangerous Galaxy counter-attacks, limiting the LA offense to basically half-chances. In the 26th minute, Omar Gonzalez attacked a Giovani dos Santos cross, but his looping header was easily snatched out of the air by goalkeeper David Bingham. Soon afterwards Giovani was able to win a free kick after shielding Clarance Goodson off the ball, then sent the attempt slightly over Bingham's bar.

Donovan Ricketts was solid in the first half, diving low twice to deny dangerous service, first from Quincy Amarikwa in the 12th minute, then Shea Salinas in the 27th.

Controversy struck in the second half when Leonardo was sent off in the 47th minute for what appeared to be a questionable challenge on Amarikwa. Replays appear to show the San Jose forward tripping over his own feet.

From then on, the Galaxy players fought hard but were unable to seriously threaten the Quakes net.

The LA Galaxy now enjoy an extended break, as the team does not play again until Saturday Sept. 12, when LA host the Montreal Impact.