It can be argued that the Los Angeles Galaxy's young guns earned their stripes into the massive zone that is Columbus Crew Stadium.
Or that match official Michael Kennedy robbed the home side of a chance to snatch the momentum back. Or that the Crew's chances to do so early and often were all denied by some stingy defending that we have seen all year from the G's.
Feel free to make up your own conclusions. But keep this in mind: Bruce Arena's Galaxy got their revenge from last year's demise at Crew Stadium to defeat Robert Warzycha's club, 2-0.
To add insult to injury—that was Bruce Arena's 100th win as an MLS coach.
In all honesty, it should have been 2-1 to the Galaxy, with a great strike fifteen minutes from time inside LA's defen. But when you draw the offsides flag late, in the 75th minute, it really amounts to pure nothingness.
As for Los Angeles, well, the best scoring chances they had came from a rookie in Michael Stephens and a budding youth academy product in Tristan Bowen (pictured).
Stephens, a UCLA grad, opened his scoring account in the 10th minute with a great finish off the delivery by Chris Birchall. But it was Bowen who sealed the deal.
With the Crew, and their swingman Guillermo Barros Schelotto, wondering why they got robbed of an equalizing chance, Bowen coolly and collectedly took a pass from Chris Klein and in the process sapped the energy out of the Nordecke in the northeast corner of the stadium.
It couldn't have drawn it up any better. Michael Stephens and Tristan Bowen are the future of this club, and so long as they continue to make an impact along with their derfending, Los Angeles will continue to rule Major League Soccer this year.
Crew fans can call this a bank robbery, but as far as you should be concerned, it's just another victory for the Los Angeles Galaxy
Ins and Outs
Meanwhile, back in Philly...
Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan and the rest of the 23-man USA national team rallied from a goal down in the second half to beat Turkey, 2-1.
"The type of game we were in today pushed the players really hard, and that's what you want," said USA manager Bob Bradley after the contest. "The response in the second half was a strong one.
"When you consider everything that has gone on in the last few weeks [at training camp and in these friendlies], it pushes us into a good position, and now we are ready to move on to South Africa."
The Yanks will take the next plane to Johannesburg, en route to a final tune-up contest against the Socceroos. Since I follow and support both teams, I fearless predict that this will be a cracker of a contest.
Jose Torres and Robbie Findley proved to be instrumental in the USA's win.
"We knew we had to change the rhythm of the game," said Torres after the match. Using precision passing and solid defending, Torres proved to be instrumental in opening up the Turkish defense.
Many questioned Bradley's decision to keep Findley in the lineup. You can't question if he had the last laugh in that department, because he did.
"[Findley's pace] opened them up," said Clint Dempsey after the match. "They were a little bit more scared, they dropped back and we were able to get into those pockets."
Dempsey scored the game-winner in the 75 minute after Jozy Altidore equalized in the 58th. But Donovan played a key role in both of those goals and was credited with the assists.
"To know that we can be down against a good team and have the ability—in a really intelligent way—to push the game and make it faster and be more aggressive without giving up things in the back, is really good for us," Donovan said after the contest.