L.A. Galaxy against New York Red Bulls was an exciting match that lived up to the hype. Not only were there designated players abundant, but there were plenty of hard fought challenges, chippy play and solid tackles all over the field. But when part one was over in Hollywood, an early goal would make the lights shine on Broadway.
The action came early for the New York Red Bulls as they attacked the Galaxy area in the 4th minute. It was Dane Richards who brought the ball up from the near side and made a nice cross which looked to go towards no one, but out of the blue it was Thierry Henry who got it and forced Donovan Ricketts off his line. A quick back heel shot rolled into the empty net and Henry converted his fourth of the season.
The Galaxy would grab the equalizer late in the first half when they earned a corner. David Beckham from the near side struck the ball very well into the center of the area. A leaping Landon Donovan got his head on to the ball and converted it to level the score at one a piece. That would be all the goals scored from the night, but the rest of the match was worth the price of admission.
Great goalkeeping from Bouna Coundoul of the Red Bulls and Ricketts of the Galaxy were on display as both made tremendous saves all night long. If it wasn’t a big rip from Dane Richards that forced a diving save, it would be a David Beckham free kick parried away by Coundoul.
The save of the night though did come from Coundoul early in the ninth minute. After a corner by Beckham was deflected away, Chad Barrett tried to sneak in a shot, but a diving and outstretched right arm from Coundoul just grabbed the ball and quickly pulled it in.
But when the keeper didn’t make the save he got help from friends. Beckham and Donovan would tag up again for another big chance for a second goal. Coundoul was off his line in the 43rd minute and Donovan would chest it away. With an open net, he tapped the ball towards it, but Tim Ream went after the ball, made a sliding save and somehow just got the ball on the goal line and cleared it away.
Then the stroke of luck for Ricketts came in the 82nd minute when it looked like the Red Bulls were going to get the lead late in the match. After Jan Gunnar Solli brought the ball up from the far side, he found a way to get it towards Richards. All of a sudden a big shot caught Ricketts off his line and towards the open net, but struck the outside of the near post to keep the match level at one.
After everything that happened at the Home Depot Center, both sides ended with a hard fought one all draw. This was definitely worth the hype that MLS wanted and both sides should hold their heads up high. Even though Juan Pablo Angel didn’t score tonight, he knows the second chance is coming in late August this season. But for now this was a fair result for both sides and everyone got value for money.