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LA SOCCER NEWS

June 18, 2007

TOPPLING ROYALTY
Galaxy beat Real Salt Lake, 3-2
By Luis Bueno
LASoccerNews.com Editor

Nate Jaqua scored his first goal of the season in Sunday's 3-2 win over Real Salt Lake.
Nate Jaqua scored his first goal of the season in Sunday's 3-2 win over Real Salt Lake.
Photo by Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
By Luis Bueno

CARSON, Calif. – No matter how sloppy the club looked at times, Galaxy players felt good about Sunday’s result.

The Galaxy beat Real Salt Lake 3-2 at Home Depot Center on Sunday and at this point, any sort of victory will suffice.

“We’ll take three points over how it looks,” Galaxy goalkeeper Joe Cannon said. “It was a gusty performance in a sense that Real had nothing to lose and we came out and put our stamp on the game early and had a couple of mental lapses. Give the guys some credit. We had the lead, stayed on top of them and we gave ourselves enough cushion to see it out.”

Nate Jaqua and Edson Buddle scored first-half goals to help pace the Galaxy. A day after his 37th birthday, Cobi Jones notched the match-winner in the 65th minute as the Galaxy improved to 2-4-3 on the season.

However, RSL had the league’s worst offense coming in and hadn’t scored in their last three games. Still, Chris Brown scored two goals and RSL created multiple scoring chances that they failed to capitalize on.

“It’s just one of those things where we’ve got to keep working together,” Cannon said. “We miss the presence of Ante (Jazic) and Kevin (Harmse) and Landon (Donovan) incredibly because we can’t possess the ball and that puts a lot of pressure on our backs. Hopefully in due time we’ll work it out. We’ve got some players coming. Hopefully this is just the start of something good.”

Galaxy players and coaches had an open dialogue after last week’s 3-1 loss to FC Dallas, a game that Galaxy coach Frank Yallop called the worst performance of the season. Yallop said he felt the players responded to those words.

“We had a good long hard look at what we did in that game. We weren’t good enough. I don’t think we competed very well. I don’t think we wanted to win that match,” Yallop said. “Tonight, it showed that we wanted to win this match. Yes, we made mistakes. Yes, we could have done better in certain situations. It is a turning point for us. We can now build on this.”

The Galaxy’s first two goals came from players who had to score this season. Jaqua pounced on a bad pass RSL defender Daniel Torres tried to send to goalkeeper Nick Rimando. Jaqua beat Rimando but Torres raced back and knocked the ball off the goal line. The ball caromed back to Jaqua, who slipped it into an open net.

Newcomer Buddle bagged his first goal of the season when he took a long ball from Abel Xavier and buried a shot past Rimando.

Buddle arrived from Toronto FC, who received Tyrone Marshall in return. Buddle played with Martino in Columbus.

“You can’t do better than to score a goal on your debut and I’m glad to see it. Edson’s a good buddy of mine and I know he’s gone through a lot of the same struggles I have in my career. To see him start his new life and his new chapter of his career with the Galaxy is great. I’m really happy for him, proud of him and I wish him the best of success.”

Jones finished off the scoring in the 65th minute when he slammed a cross from Martino into the back of the net.

“Cobi’s proved year in and year out that it doesn’t take too many opportunities like that for him to finish,” Martino said. “He did great to tuck it in and it was exactly what we needed in order to make sure we got the three points.”

Despite another Brown goal, off a corner kick in the 73rd minute, the Galaxy held on to win for the second time this season.

“We saw a difference in ourselves. It’s nice to have a smile on my face for a change,” Yallop said. “The guys really, really dug in and made sure we got the result.”
   
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