The Los Angeles Galaxy were looking to reel in their first US Open Cup since 2005. However, the San Jose Quakes had other plans in mind.
The Los Angeles Galaxy headed into Avaya Stadium Monday night for the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup hoping to avenge a previous MLS loss to rivals San Jose Earthquakes. The teams were tied 1-1 at the half, but the Galaxy couldn’t stop the San Jose attack after the break and lost 3-2.
The Galaxy got off to a fast start thanks to a goal off a corner kick from Belgian international and defender Jelle Van Damme. It was a perfect cross from Giovani dos Santos and Van Damme powered his way to the front of the net and buried it past San Jose goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell.
The next few minutes of the match featured sloppy play in the midfield by the Galaxy, and they were fortunate that they did not concede an equalizer off of any of their turnovers. Goalkeeper Brian Rowe made a mistake in the early minutes after Van Damme’s goal, chasing after a deflected ball and leaving the net open for a potential Earthquakes goal.
San Jose eventually found a way to equalize in the 16th minute, when the United States international Chris Wondolowski scored a screamer from outside the penalty box that Brian Rowe did not see coming. Wondolowski was wearing number 38 on Monday night in solidarity with teammate Matheus Silva, who was involved in a swimming accident on the morning of July 4th.
The rest of the first half included more back and forth turnovers in the midfield that neither team could capitalize on and score the go-ahead goal. The Galaxy struggled to generate opportunities, with Jack McBean specifically having a hard time maintaining control of the ball when San Jose made a midfield mistake.
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The second half opened with another Wondolowski goal that he scored with his head on a running cross from former Indiana Hoosier and Earthquakes midfielder Tommy Thompson. The Galaxy left Wondolowski unmarked in the middle of the box and allowed an open header that easily beat a diving Brad Rowe.
It was only a matter of time before the Galaxy’s horrendous midfield mistakes would come back to haunt them.
Poor communication between midfielders in the 62nd minute led to a breakaway from Earthquakes striker Danny Hoesen, and he would not be denied an easy goal with no defenders in front of him to slow him down.
Los Angeles showed signs of life toward the end of the match, scoring another goal off a corner kick that was designated as an own goal by San Jose goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell. This made the game 3-2 for the Earthquakes, and the Galaxy couldn’t generate any extra time magic.
After being eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup, the Los Angeles Galaxy turn their attention back to MLS league play, as they chase a playoff spot in hopes for a sixth MLS Cup.