CARSON, Calif -- The first leg of a qualification match for the CONCACAF Champions League did not go Galaxy's way as they were humiliated 4-1 at home by the Islanders with all five goals (including an own-goal) of the match coming by way of Puerto Rico.
At times, Galaxy were in complete disarray. Though the ball possession was in their favor; 23 shots were recorded by the home side, but nothing resulted on the scoreboard. The only goal Los Angeles managed to get was a product of an own-goal late in the second.
"Well, we got beat soundly tonight; there's no question about that," said a disgruntled coach Bruce Arena. "There's no excuse... our efforts were good, our executions were not."
Though his team has done well enough on the MLS season to hold first place in the league, granting him the coaching gig at the All-Star Game, it fell apart spectaculary for Arena and his men versus the Islanders.
"Firstly, our experienced players didn't have a good night; and secondly, our finishing was poor, theirs was was superb," Arena analyzed.
One could arguably point the the finger squarely on net-minder Josh Saunders for allowing at least two of the quartet of goals into his net. However, the coach stood by his keeper in the main, though he criticized as well as defended him.
"Josh Saunders hasn't gotten a goal scored against him this year, and Josh is a good goalkeeper, certainly capable of playing in this game tonight. We didn't lose this game tonight because of Josh Saunders, there are a lot of reason why we lost this game."
Other club members like defender Gregg Berhalter were flabbergasted, puzzled and bewildered at the end result of the match.
"It was one of those games; it was a bizarre game," said the defender. "We give a lot of credit to them, but we have to look at ourselves and say this just isn't good enough. It was a just a nightmare. It was one of those games you can't explain. That's how soccer goes."
All-Star Landon Donovan was more critical of the situation, calling on his team to step it up.
"I'm just disappointed," confessed the international. "I think we were incredibly naive about how we went about things after we went a goal down. Our team now, as healthy as it's been all year, guys should know that if they don't play well, they're not going to play. And I think we learned a lot about our team tonight, and we got to get better."
Both Donovan and Edson Buddle were selected to represent the MLS on Wednesdays All-Star game against Manchester United in Houston. Despite this and an MLS matchup against Chicago on Sunday, the duo are still eying the second leg versus Puerto Rico next Wednesday for possible redemption
"We have a big challenge in front of us to do that same thing," expressed Buddle. "To go in their home and to do what they did to us. I'm going to try to put this behind me as quickly as possible, but it does hurt right now. [And I just have to] try to move forward and tomorrow will take care of itself."
"It's incredibly difficult to go anywhere and score four goals," explained Donovan. "But the flip side to that, if they were able to score four here, we should be able to score four there. We're going to go for it and see what happens."
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