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Chicharito on LA Galaxy loss: ‘I told the lads this one is on me’

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First goal comes in bittersweet fashion.

MLS: Portland Timbers at LA Galaxy Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

He may have scored the first of what most hope will be many goals for the LA Galaxy, but Chicharito wasn’t too pleased about the accomplishment after Monday’s game in the MLS is Back Tournament.

The striker scored a late consolation goal as the Galaxy fell 2-1 to the 10-man Portland Timbers, the goal bookending a chance to take an early lead from the penalty spot that ended in a saved PK for the Mexican.

After the game, Chicharito was philosophical but said he believed he bore responsibility for the loss.

“As a striker we all know sometimes that can happen, you know? You can have 10 chances and miss nine and score one, and there’s some games you just have one and you score it,” Chicharito told reporters during the postgame press conference.

“It’s not the greatest taste, to score your first goal with a loss like this one and then when you miss a penalty, obviously. I told the lads that this one is on me. I always believe in this sport, even when sometimes the goalscorer can score the last-minute goal, he’s not a hero, and for example I missed a penalty, someone can have a mistake, it’s not only his fault, but I think the whole team did a fantastic effort. We finished this game how we’re supposed to start, with that possession, with that bravery to try and score as much goals as we can. You saw it the last 20 minutes, 25 minutes, we were much better, we created a lot of chances. We weren’t ruthless like we need to be. We need to look forward for the next match.”

The teams were scoreless after Chicharito’s early penalty miss until just before the hour mark, when the Timbers struck twice in less than 10 minutes, Sebastian Blanco setting up a goal then scoring from nearly identical spots on the field.

But the Galaxy didn’t give up, and when Portland defender Dario Zuparic was sent off for a rough foul on Cristian Pavon to draw a second yellow card, LA had multiple near misses before Chicharito scored a good goal to give his side some faint hope late.

And that’s the sentiment his teammates want to tap into moving forward.

“I think the feeling in the locker room after the game is one of disappointment, because we felt we had them on the ropes for the last few minutes of the game and we were really pushing,” said midfielder Sacha Kljestan. “The other sentiment in the locker room is that we stick together and that we support each other and push forward and we’re going to learn from our mistakes. We feel like a real team, we feel like we’re going to get stronger as this tournament and season goes on, and I think the camaraderie in the group right now, the support for each other that we can push forward is at a good level.”

The next assignment isn’t easy, as LA will face their crosstown rivals on Saturday, but with LAFC settling for a draw and conceding three in their first MLS is Back Tournament game Monday, Chicharito and company will aim to score early and often in the latest edition of El Trafico.

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