Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Tottenham Hotspur: 6 Things We Learned
Tuesday was a great night for football, but a poor night for finishing as Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy took on Andre Villas-Boas's Tottenham before a crowd of over 25,000 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw. A gutsy performance for Los Angeles, but a disappointing outing for Tottenham, who had this game in hand on paper.
Spurs continue their preseason on July 28 against Liverpool in Baltimore, while the Galaxy continue their 2012 MLS season this weekend against FC Dallas.
Here are six things we learned in this friendly match between the Galaxy and Spurs.
1. No Beckham? No Donovan? No Problem for LA
David Beckham and Landon Donovan were unable to play in this friendly due to MLS All-Star Game obligations tomorrow at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. That didn't stop the Robbie Keane-led Galaxy from putting in a performance that, one would suspect, earned the respect of the visitors from North London.
Even with the reserves playing the second half, Tottenham were punchless and the goalkeeping tandem of Brian Perk and Brian Rowe preserved the draw.
2. Gareth Bale: The Key to Tottenham's Success This Year
Midfielder Gareth Bale has made a name for himself among Tottenham fans with his heroics for Spurs. In the 17th minute, a delivery from Gylfi Sigurdsson was headed home by Bale with fluidity and skill.
Not only does he have the type of football IQ needed to win games for his side, he shows some durability, as witnessed in the second half.
3. The Most Unlikeliest of Goal Scorers: David Junior Lopes
Perhaps there is a reason why Tottenham are playing in the UEFA Europa League next year and not the UEFA Champions League. Not only are they susceptible to being held to draws against weaker opposition, but they let the unlikeliest of goalscorers in David Junior Lopes go unmarked and put the match on level terms before the half-hour mark.
That is just unacceptable, even if it's preseason. One would think that Tottenham's first XI know off the bat how to clear a set piece and win the ball back. That just didn't happen in the 28th minute of play. Lopes is the most inconsistent defender out there for Los Angeles, and yet on Wednesday, Tottenham made his stock rise overnight. The goal was Lopes's first-ever as a member of the Galaxy.
4. So Close for Jermaine Defoe
Perhaps the most frustrated of players had to be forward Jermaine Defoe. The man has speed, but he didn't have the finishing touch. Defoe had at least two legit chances on goal against the Galaxy, and he pulled them wide.
Perhaps the clubs that are pursuing Defoe at this point may want to look elsewhere after this sorry performance.
5. Tough Break for Rafael Van Der Vaart
Rafael van der Vaart was tabbed on my bold predictions to make a statement and score at least one in this match. He never got a good look on goal; in fact, he didn't even see through his time on the pitch. A groin injury ended his night 35 minutes into the match.
6. A Good Night for Robbie Keane
With Donovan and Beckham away to All-Star duty, it was left to Robbie Keane to don the captain's armband against his former club. Keane gave Totteham's Jan Vertonghen all he can handle, and the likes of fullback Kyle Walker and goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini had to bail the Ajax transfer out.
After 45 minutes, Keane was rested ahead of the next match for LA: on the road against FC Dallas. A preview of this contest will be posted on Bleacher Report and the View from Victoria Street.