After a two week layoff, a rusty Galaxy side could not find the back of the net as the Montreal Impact held LA to a draw before a sellout crowd Saturday night at the StubHub Center.
Giovani Dos Santos earned his first start on the right wing, while Dave Romney filled in for starting center back Leonardo, who is serving a red card suspension.
The Galaxy struggled to unlock Montreal in the first half, while the Impact did well to absorb the Galaxy's pressure and create a few chances of their own. Just a few minutes in, Justin Mapp took advantage of a small amount of space in the box to pop a quick shot to the left corner of the goalmouth, but Ricketts was there to make the stop.
LA had their first opportunity when Omar Gonzalez re-directed a Giovani Dos Santos header towards the crossbar that goalkeeper Evan Bush struggled to corral in. A few minutes later, the Galaxy dodged a bullet when Andres Romero cleaned up a Marco Piatti rebound to score, but was just offsides on the play.
Romero was at it again in the 15th, this time striking a powerful shot from the left of the penalty arc that Ricketts had to parry away. Coming right back down the field, Robbie Keane fired a low shot to the right, but Bush was able to make the one-handed stop.
Later on Bush beat Robbie Keane to a dos Santos through ball, but his clearance skidded right to Zardes, who's blast at the goal didn't miss by much. In the 34th, Juninho managed to slip Keane unimped through the center of the Montreal defense for a breakaway, but his attempt to chip Bush was saved and Calum Mallace headed the rebound clear over the bar.
In the 37th minute, Nigel Reo-Coker, who was involved in several intense 1 on 1s with the likes of Robbie Rogers and Sebastian Lletget, tackled Rogers late, sending the defender crumbling to the turf and earning a yellow card in the process.
The second half was more of the same, however both team's attacks slowly but surely began to heat up. In the 57th minute, newly acquired Designated Player Didier Drobga snaked into the box and tiptoed the endline before attempting to chip Ricketts, who made the save as the ball richoched dangerously close to the goal, but the Galaxy managed to clear.
Robbie Keane thought he had put the Galaxy ahead in the 66th minute, but the goal was called back, once again due to an offsides call. Soon afterwards Zardes layed a ball off for substitute Baggio Husidic, but his smack at the ball from deep inside the box was perilously high.
A few minutes later, Steven Gerrard found time and space outside the box, but sent a curling right footed attempt high and wide.
AJ DeLaGarza did brilliantly to stuff Didier Drogba on a dangerous Impact counter-attack late as the game came on an uneventful conclusion. With the tie, the Galaxy are now a point behind Vancouver in the Supporters Sheild standings with the Whitecaps having a game in hand.