May 8, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Los Angeles Galaxy
Carson, Calif. - After jumping out to a four-goal lead, the LA Galaxy held on for dear life and picked up their first win of the MLS Reserve League season, beating the L.A. Blues 4-3 on Tuesday night at The Home Depot Center. Gyasi Zardes scored once and assisted on two others while also earning a penalty to lead the Galaxy to the win in their first game of the year against the local USL Pro club.
It took just five minutes for the Galaxy to get on the board as a Zardes cross from the right wing found Michael Stephens streaking into the center of the box. The midfielder powered a right-footed shot into the corner of the net for his first goal of the season, giving LA a 1-0 lead.
Zardes and Stephens nearly combined a few minutes later, only for Stephens to see his shot rattle off the crossbar.
However the Galaxy would double their lead in the 17th minute when Zardes and Jimenez combining to set up Chandler Hoffman for his first goal of the year. A long period of sustained possession and passing led to Jimenez picking out Hoffman to make the score 2-0.
LA would go into the half with a 3-0 lead as Zardes and Jimenez combined again with Zardes heading a cross past Blues goalkeeper Steve Gonzalez for his first goal of the season.
With a goal and two assists under his belt in the first half, Zardes continued his fantastic night when he was dragged down inside the area in the 49th minute, earning the Galaxy a penalty. Hector Jimenez stepped up to take the spot kick and fired his shot past Gonzalez to stretch LA's lead to 4-0.
However, things began to unravel for the home side shortly after the Jimenez penalty. Rafael Garcia headed a Blues freekick into his own net, past Brian Perk, who came on at halftime in place of Brian Lowe, to make the score 4-1 in favor of the Galaxy in the 51st minute.
The Blues then cut the lead to 4-2 in the 72nd minute when a pass from Jimmy Turner found Shay Spitz inside the box, allowing the midfielder to slip a shot past Perk. Just 10 minutes later, the lead was down to one as the Galaxy were called for a foul inside the box, leading to a penalty kick that Blues' captain Allan Russell stepped up and converted, to make the score 4-3.
However, that would be as the visitors would get as LA managed to kill off the final 10 minutes and hold on for their first win of the season. The same two sides will meet again in just more than a month's time, on Saturday, June 15 with that game scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m.