Rimando the star as RSL earns road win vs. Galaxy

Nick Rimando

By MARK EDWARD HORNISH

CARSON, Calif.–If the LA Galaxy hope to chase away the ghosts of their disappointing 2013 campaign, it appears that a retooled lineup will not alone solve that problem.

The inability to finish, and the willingness to surrender late goals, haunted them once again, as Kyle Beckerman sprung Joao Plata for a winning goal in the 81st minute to give RSL a hard fought 1-0 road victory at packed Stub Hub Center on a balmy Saturday night.

For RSL, the victory was hard earned and well deserved.  They withstood enormous pressure in the first half, as the Galaxy fired off 14 shots in the first half to RSL’s four.  Nick Rimando pressed his case for a ticket to Brazil  with six saves in the first half alone.  But it was the keeper’s best friend, the goal post, that kept RSL on even terms heading into the locker room for halftime, when Robbie Keane’s curling shot from twelve yards beat the keeper only to clang off the far post, rolling dangerously behind Rimando before Nat Borchers could clear.

The second half saw a far more even match.  RSL began pressing the Galaxy higher, and Jaoa Plata proved a difficult challenge for AJ De La Garza, opening up the Galaxy back line on numerous occasions.   Both teams had opportunities, but it was Real Salt Lake who gained the advantage midway through the second half.

A Luke Mulholland header was called back for offside in the 76th minute.  It appeared the center back was hard done by the call; no matter, as minutes later, Kyle Beckerman pulled down a deflected ball in the semi – circle and found Plata again, this time lurking in what appeared to be an offside position.  Plata enjoyed a straight run at a helpless Jaime Penedo and tucked the ball home to give RSL the late advantage.

The substitute referees factored into the game again, when Tony Beltran was called for a foul in the penalty area defending a leaping Rob Friend.  The penalty was awarded at the death, and it appeared the Galaxy might escape with point.

It was Rimando to the rescue once again, however, as he dove, legs splayed, to his right and saved Keane’s meager stutter-step attempt.

One minute later it was full time, and it was an exuberant claret and cobalt racing onto the pitch, while the Bruce Arena’s side was left looking for the same answers they sought at the conclusion of last season’s campaign.

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30 Responses to Rimando the star as RSL earns road win vs. Galaxy

  1. Chodilicus says:

    Watch this game and seriously tell me with a straight face that there is a better goalkeeper in MLS. It is embarrassing that Rimando got shafted again last year on GKOY. He had at least 4 saves where he was one-on-one with the attacker.

    The other notable observation from this game was the horribly one-sided officiating. There has always been bad officiating in MLS. But this was ridiculously biased for the Gals. The goal for Mulholland that was disallowed is one of the most head-scratching decisions I have ever seen in soccer. I still don’t know what was called. The PK given at the death was equally mystifying and truly seemed criminal. I have serious questions about impropriety here. Then this ref was handing cards to RSL like they were candy for tiny things while Morales again suffered a couple of vicious tackles with no justice. It is this kind of officiating that will lead to the MLS stars getting seriously hurt. The Gals knew they could get away with murder and you could see them getting more reckless with challenges as the game wore on and they assessed the officiating. It was a completely embarrassing display of officiating and almost ruined a well played game.

    • Brian says:

      Rimando is the best keeper in MLS, but Ricketts had a better season last year. Given the choice between the two I am certain every team would pick Rimando but that doesn’t take away from the amazing year Ricketts had last year. Being the best does not mean you put in the best performance throughout the season.

      • BKBOOGER says:

        I feel like Ricketts’ propensity to produce highlight saves pushed him to GKOY. There is no question that Rimando is a better keeper almost across the board. Rickett’s just captured the voter’s attention with some absolutely stunning saves last year for both club and country.

        • Neruda says:

          Portland also captured the attention of MLS last year. RSL constantly flying under the radar including for award season. It’s fine as long as they keep winning. I’m feeling good about their chances against SJ next week and also going against a more reserve laden LA in week 3.

          Rimando again showing why he’s deserving of the third GK spot in brazil.

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      Please accept the following comment with the grain of salt it deserves, since I saw only the highlights: Rimando nearly spoonfed Keane a goal. Not making bonehead mistakes is part of a keeper’s job too; and am I wrong or is this the one kind of mistake he makes a bit too often?

      • Neruda says:

        Never. He’s so good at distributing and playing with the ball at his feet but he made a bad pass which is I don’t think I’ve seen on a medium to short pass from him.

        He juked Samuel (LA gals new striker) so calmly but as I watched my heart skipped a bit because you don’t want keeper dribbling around oncoming forwards. But then he freed himself and played it forward.

      • e. bundy says:

        I agree Ramondo made a near fatal mistake in saturdays game but its rare of him to do so. Thats the reason he’s on his way to Brazil!

      • LIl' Zeke says:

        Thanks for the insights, and enough already with “Gals”

  2. Derge says:

    Muholland scored the goal that got called back, not Borchers. That ref was awful. Moholland was called for offsides even though there were three LA players in front of him the whole time. Shameful reffing to be honest. Also the penalty should never have been given. it was in no way a penalty.

    • downintexas says:

      You forget that we see the play from a completely different angle than the ref. Yes it was very clear that it was not a PK. But if you were standing were the ref was then it looked like it was a clear PK. Either way the Rimando saved the day.

      Al

  3. Ian says:

    Joao Plata is the real deal. Terrifying at times, as a Galaxy fan. Though loss, but good game.

  4. kjfstallion says:

    Just watched the replay and I kid you not there are 5 galaxy players in front of Mulholland when Plata shoots at goal – I am mystified by the offside call that was made

    • Jesus Kreis says:

      New Rule: 6 players must be behind the ball when playing LA in order for it to be onside.

      #MLSTransparency

    • Chris says:

      On the replay of Plata’s goal, he’s clearly onside as well – the guy who wrote this article must not have done his research, because at least 2 Galaxy defenders kept him a half-step on.

  5. Gerard D. says:

    Just saw the replay of the disallowed goal. Er… what?

  6. ben in el cajon says:

    The refs were bad. As a Galaxy fan, I was embarrassed.

    However, I’m beginning to thing we need a coaching change. Sure, there were shots on goal, but they weren’t great shots, and the buildup is always the same: find Donovan center left and see if anything happens; force the ball into Keane in the midst of three defenders; miss an occasional shot from outside the box. This was the same pattern last year as well. Add one or two defensive lapses and you get yet another loss.

    • CW in LA says:

      Yeah, this was JUST like last year, and that’s seriously not good: We supposedly have all this offensive firepower, but we squander chance after chance. This means the defense needs to have a perfect game or else we lose.

      I hesitate to say the answer is dumping Bruce. But it’s definitely on Bruce to get the team out of this rut.

      • AlexH says:

        Maybe Bruce can trade Robbie Rogers for somebody that can bury his chances, draw some attention from the marque players, and raise his game during the playoffs? Bah, who am I kidding, who in the world would be stupid enough to give up somebody like that for Robbie Rogers?!?!?

  7. Fredo says:

    I liked the ref. Keane should have done better. Ishizaki & Friend looked good when they came in. We will have more different looks and points of attack this year.

  8. beachbum says:

    if Keane doesn’t finish his chances the Galaxy are doomed. He had many opportunities. That was the difference, and Rimando is awesome. Penedo played great too. Fun game to watch even in defeat, 2 good teams

  9. beachbum says:

    who will be at the game Wednesday vs. Tijuana? I will be!

    Go Galaxy! Go MLS!

  10. Neruda says:

    Shades of couliby (that crummy excuse for a ref during the WC who robbed the US for phantom calls) the linesman taking away mullholand first goal was criminal. The penalty at the end was a joke. If big Friend jumps and flails at impossible to reach crosses and gets penalties then lenhart and Gordon are going to draw penalties all day for SJ.

    Platas goal that did stand was onside btw. It was confusing to tell at first but it was good.

    Aaron maund was very solid for RSL. And mullholand was great (should have had a goal) and Jordan Allen showed why we’ll be seeing a lot of him this year. I like that Cassar isn’t afraid to play some of these players more than Kries was.

  11. Josh says:

    Ok, yes I am a Galaxy fan, and yes the refs were terrible, often in the Galaxy’s favor, but that penalty wasn’t as ridiculous as it is being made out to be here. Beltran clearly undercut Friend as he was in the air. If the call was on Borchers, I think that is more a case of mistaken identity than anything. The penalty was committed by Beltran. Was Friend looking for it? Yes. Was it a bit soft? Yes. Was it valid? To my opinion, yes.

    But it didn’t matter, because as soon as Keane stepped up, I knew Rimando was going to save it.

    • JRP says:

      He was undercut but you have to have a chance at getting to the ball for it to be a penalty. The ball was 4 feet above his head. How is he gonna get to that?

  12. EspinDOHla says:

    Rimando was on point. Penedo looked good too.

    Glad JK prefers Rimando over some of the younger keepers. There’s always calls to take a younger keeper to the WC in the 3rd spot. Rimando deserves that spot. He is the best keeper in MLS.

  13. OCDShaggy says:

    I was so confused when I didn’t read anything in the article about the domination of LAG…

  14. Richard Rygg says:

    Great post mark!