Jose Villarreal got on the board as the LA Galaxy tied a reserve Club Tijuana side in the first preseason match of 2017.
#LAGalaxy Starting XI: Rowe; Garcia, Steres, Van Damme, Cole; Mendiola, Husidic, Jones, Lletget; Lassiter, McBean #LAvTJ pic.twitter.com/dIQuqEyxk6— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) February 8, 2017
With Romain Alessandrini and Joao Pedro securing their visas, Giovani dos Santos away with the Mexican national team and Gyasi Zardes still nursing an injury, LA fielded a depleted lineup while Miguel Herrera opted to play his reserves.
The first real chance came when a Baggio Husidic corner was headed down by Daniel Steres in the box but the ball bounced over the bar.
Minutes later however, Club Tijuana breezed past the Galaxy defense on the counter-attack, but were unable to connect the final pass. Late in the half, Jermaine Jones had time and space 30 yards from goal and unleashed a deflected spot that dinked off the right goal post.
#LAGalaxy XI for the 2nd half: Diop; Smith, Diallo, Romney, Turnley; Jamieson IV, Aguilar, Ja. Villarreal, Boateng; Zubak; Jo. Villarreal— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) February 8, 2017
A ho-hum first half quickly blew up as LA got on the scoresheet in the 52nd minute. Miguel Aguilar found Emmanuel Boateng on the wing, and the speedster cut inside his defender and squared a direct cross to an onrushing Jose Villarreal who put away an easy finish.
This was pretty neat! #LAvTJ pic.twitter.com/2HPpmL5toc— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) February 8, 2017
However the lead only lasted for two minutes, as Dave Romney hauled down an attacker in the box and Matias Pisano converted the penalty kick from the spot. Moments later, it took a massive double save from Clement Diop to keep LA in the match.
As you might expect, the legs of the Galaxy players began to get heavy, but with Diop making several key saves late LA held on to secure a draw vs. the Liga MX leaders.