L.A. Advances in U.S. Open Cup with Victory over San Diego, 2-0
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Tuesday, July 25, 2000) - The Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer (MLS) Club defeated the A-League's San Diego Flash, 2-0, to advance to the quarterfinals in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in front of a Flash record crowd of 6,118 fans at Mesa College's Douglas Stadium. Midfielders Sasha Victorine and Ivan Polic each tallied for the Galaxy in the second-ever meeting in the U.S. Open Cup between the Galaxy and the Flash.
Los Angeles goalkeeper Matt Reis earned his first-ever U.S. Open Cup shutout, needing only two saves on the night, while Flash goalkeeper Tom Tate made two saves but allowed two goals in the match.
The number one seeded Galaxy had little trouble controlling the match on the short and narrow Douglas Field. With the victory, the Galaxy advances to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup and will take on the San Jose Earthquakes on August 9. In 1999, the Columbus Crew knocked out the Galaxy in the quarterfinals, 2-0, after advancing with a victory over the San Diego Flash (A-League), 3-2, in the third round.
Los Angeles was without the assistance of Kevin Hartman, Seth George, and Zak Ibsen. Hartman suffered a sprained left knee in training last week and underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn medial menicus and will be out three to six weeks. George suffered a sprained right ankle and Ibsen pulled his right hamstring in the Galaxy's 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay. Simon Elliott started the Galaxy's fire in the first minute of play with a 40-yard shot that deflected off the left post. The smaller field kept the game moving at a quick pace, forcing both teams to make quick and precise passes.
Cobi Jones entered the match in the 41st minute to replace Peter Vagenas, who exited the game with a left ankle contusion. Jones, who just arrived from U.S. National Team duty in Costa Rica, had little time to rest on the bench.
Los Angeles scored first off a Jones corner kick in the 50th minute. Jones fired a rocket into the penalty area and found Sasha Victorine at the near post. Victorine redirected it with his head just inside the neat post, giving Los Angeles a 1-0 advantage.
San Diego was able to create some dangerous chances of its own. However, the Galaxy's Reis made a superb one-handed save in the 55th minute, denying a one-on-one opportunity by the Flash's Mugurel Dumitru. A through ball over the top beat the Galaxy defenders, allowing Dumitru to blast a shot from the top of the box. The ball was going over Reis' head when the 'keeper threw up his right hand and deflected it up away where it was subsequently cleared by the Galaxy's defense.
Los Angeles' final goal came in the 67th minute off a blast from rookie Ivan Polic. On a breakaway, Cienfuegos controlled the ball on the right wing and moving toward midfield, before making a cross field pass. Polic settled the pass and took a hard left-footed shot from just inside the 18-yard box. Tate, at the top of the six, tried to punch the ball over his head but didn't get enough of the shot to stop it from dropping in just under the crossbar. Polic, who joined the Galaxy in 2000 as a Discovery Player, was red carded in the 89th minute for violent conduct on a tackle suffered by the Flash's Dumitru.
Major League Soccer will take a short break from league action for the MLS All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio. The Los Angeles Galaxy will have six representatives at this year's Major League Soccer All-Star Game Saturday, July 29 at Columbus Crew Stadium (12:30 p.m. PT on ABC Sports). Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman and forward Luis Hernandez (Commissioner's pick) were named as reserves and will join teammates Mauricio Cienfuegos, Robin Fraser, Cobi Jones, and Greg Vanney.
2000 LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP MATCH REPORT
|Participants:||San Diego Flash (A-League) vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (MLS)|
|Competition:||2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Third Round|
|Venue:||Douglas Field (San Diego, Calif.)|
|Date:||July 25, 2000|
|Attendance:||6,118 (Flash franchise record)|
Galaxy - Victorine, (Jones), 50,
Galaxy - Polic, (Cienfuegos), 67.
GALAXY - Matt Reis, Greg Vanney, Robin Fraser, Danny Califf, Jorge Salcedo (Ivan Polic '63), Ezra Hendrickson, Simon Elliott, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Sebastien Vorbe (Paul Caligiuri '80), Peter Vagenas (Cobi Jones '38), Sasha Victorine.
FLASH - Tom Tate, David Banks, Jason Annicchero, PJ Brown, Geoff Huber (Anthony Farace '65), Kevin Legg, Nate Hetherington, Leighton O'Brien (Brian O'Connol '72), Mugurel Dumitru, Mauricio Alegre, Mike Slivinski (Guillermo Jara '76).
POST-MATCH QUOTE SHEET
SIGI SCHMID, L.A. Galaxy head coach
"We were aware of what the field was going to be like, so our intent was to match their intensity from the start. It was one of the reasons we didn't start Cobi (Jones). We felt we'd let them kick some other people instead of kicking Cobi from the start."
"We did a good job of moving the ball around and holding position. In the first half when it came down to the final penetrating pass we didn't do so well, but in the second half I thought we did much better.
"(Mauricio) Cienfuegos was amazing considering he played 90 minutes on Sunday and all the running and work he did tonight was tremendous."
"I didn't think it was a red card foul (by Ivan Polic in the 89th minute). He got his feet tangled in a tackle, tried to step away and stepped down on him for sure. I don't deny that he stepped, but I thought it was not intentional. It was a very harsh red card."
MATT REIS, L.A. Galaxy goalkeeper
"I finally got my first shutout of my professional career and it felt great. We were on top of them, because we couldn't take them lightly on the field and we were ready for it. We controlled the tempo from the start."
SASHA VICTORINE, L.A. Galaxy midfielder
"I heard it was a very good goal, but I didn't see anything. I just dove, headed the ball and tried to put it on the frame. Then, I heard someone scream and I just wondered what had happened which is when someone told me that I had scored.
"It was good that we got that one (first goal), because it eased the game up. They had a couple of chances, but Matt (Reis) came up big and kept us in it. Reis played great and came up with a couple of big saves. He's played well for a couple of games now."