BY ADAM SERRANO
CARSON, Calif. –The Los Angeles Galaxy have enjoyed a dream season and that season got a little better on Sunday as they once again defeated their cross-hall rivals.
Chad Barrett scored his seventh goal of the season as the Galaxy defeated Chivas USA in the SuperClasico in front of 27,000 at the Home Depot Center.The Galaxy picked up the victory despite missing Robbie Keane (adductor strain) and Landon Donovan (quad strain) due to injury.
With the victory the Galaxy finish the regular season with an undefeated 12-0-5 record at home. Los Angeles is just the third team in MLS history to finish the season undefeated at home following Real Salt Lake in 2009 and the San Jose Earthquakes in 2005.
“It’s nice. I don’t really pay attention to those kinds of things. It’s certainly important,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said of the record. “It was obviously the most important factor probably in winning the Supporters’ Shield. If you generate that many points at home and get a fair amount on the road, it’s a simple formula that adds up to being on top in the end.”
From the outset of the match, the Galaxy were in control and had Barrett enjoyed a finer touch, they would have taken the lead even earlier. However Barrett finally broke through in the 53rd minute of play when he headed in a cross from Adam Cristman that caught Chivas' goalkeeper Dan Kennedy flat-footed. The goal was Barrett's third goal in four games for Los Angeles.
After Barrett's goal, Chivas began to find space as the Galaxy dropped back and began to absorb pressure. However, Chivas had their opportunties, the Galaxy's defense was able to blanket former Galaxy striker Juan Pablo Angel and prevent the Chivas forward from getting chances. Whether it was clearances by Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant or Omar Gonzalez, the Galaxy remained steely throughout, limiting Chivas' chances.
"We had a lot of possession, we were able to create a few chances, but we weren’t able to convert," said Chivas head coach Robin Fraser. "It’s difficult once you get behind a good team. [Galaxy] don’t make a lot of mistakes in the back and they look for the one opportunity to capitalize on and they have won I don’t know how many games that way this year.”
With their victory over Chivas, the Galaxy remain undefeated against their arch-rivals since September 2007, the last time that the Rojiblancos were victorious in the SuperClasico.
Chivas close out the season on Saturday with a match at home against the Seattle Sounders. Meanwhile, the Chivas match is the Galaxy's first of three games in seven days as Los Angeles will now prepare for a vital match in the CONCACAF Champions League against Club Motagua on Thursday in Honduras.
After the match, the message was clear, it was time to look ahead to the next one.
"A very good regular season at home, a good effort by our group," said Arena. "We look forward to the game on Thursday which is certainly going to be a big one."