By Ivan Yeo
When things aren’t going your way, they really aren’t going your way.
Mired in a two-month long winless streak, the recent misfortunes of the Los Angeles Galaxy could not be anymore pronounced on Sunday afternoon against their rivals from Northern California. A shot off the framework, a penalty that was overturned to a free kick via video review and a debatable straight red card were all reminiscent of the struggles currently befuddling the Galaxy in its 3-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes at StubHub Center.
“It’s not good,” Galaxy defender Daniel Steres said. “We’re having all sorts of things happen whether it’s off the field, it’s injuries or with video review…whatever it is, it’s now going our way. It’s up to us to make our own luck right now and that’s not happening at the moment.”
The Galaxy were getting some momentum late in the first half, and Jonathan Dos Santos almost put the Galaxy ahead in the 45th minute. Bradford Jamieson IV dispossessed Andres Imperiale outside of the penalty area, Jonathan Dos Santos got control of the ball, took a quick touch and fired a ball right on goal. The Shot got past keeper Andrew Tarbell, but it did not beat the framework, as the ball went off the crossbar and back into play. Compounding matters for the Galaxy, just as the half was ending, the Quakes got on the board, as Shea Salinas sent a corner into the box, Valeri Qazaishvili swooped in and buried the close-range shot for the Quakes first goal.
The Galaxy thought they had a penalty in the 48th minute. Joao Pedro had the ball outside the penalty area and immediately made his move. Darwin Ceren challenged him from behind and pushed Joao Pedro. Referee Chris Penso initially signaled penalty, as Pedro fell into the penalty area. However, the Video review was initiated, and it did show that the actual push did in fact occur just outside the box, meaning that instead of a penalty and almost certain score, the Galaxy had to settle for a free kick, albeit in a very dangerous spot. Giovani Dos Santos sent the set piece right at goal, but the shot was easily saved by Tarbell.
“They said that the foul started outside the box,” Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid said. “I always thought that it was supposed to be clear and unequivocal. So maybe it was clear. That one, I think maybe they got it right.”
More controversy ensued in the 57th minute. Imperiale intercepted a pass and eventually got a pass off. LA Galaxy right back Nathan Smith attempted to contest the play, stepped in front of Imperiale just as he got off the pass and sent the Quakes defender to the ground. Still, Smith, his teammates and Schmid were angrily stunned when Penso pulled out the red card, ending Smith’s afternoon after just 32 minutes in which he subbed in during the 25th minute for Pele Van Anholt, who came up injured. With the Galaxy down a man, the Quakes eventually took advantage, first a goal by Marco Urena in the 80th minute, followed by a stoppage time strike by Chris Wondolowski, which was mere icing on the cake for San Jose.
“last week in video review, they didn’t review whether it was a foul or not,” Schmid said, referring to the Galaxy’s last game on Wednesday against Columbus when Ashley Cole was sent off via video review. “They reviewed whether he was the last man or not instead of reviewing whether it was a foul or not. This time they didn’t even deem it was necessary to review this one.”
Certainly the Galaxy are hoping Saturday’s match against last place Colorado can get them back on track. Keeper Jon Kempin summed it up as to what the Galaxy have to do to get things back on track.
“It’s been pretty crazy, we all know that,” Kempin said. “All we can do is keep working, go into practice, work hard, come with the game plan and hopefully on Saturday we can get a win.”