A series of mistakes throughout the first half of Saturday's game cost the Houston Dynamo dearly. The Los Angeles Galaxy were the beneficiaries, gladly taking a 2-0 win out of Robertson Stadium.
In the 27th minute, what seemed like a routine clearance for defenders Mike Chabala and Bobby Boswell was foiled due to a communication miscue. Edson Buddle of the Galaxy was more than happy to pounce at the loose ball and strike on goal. Even from an odd angle, he managed to beat Pat Onstad.
"The first goal was from a horrendous angle, I should never get beaten from there," Onstad said. "Ultimately we never recovered from it."
In the 43rd minute, Luis Angel Landin received a red card for violent conduct. "It was a stupid red card on my part," Landin said. "The game was very physical, and [the Galaxy] had already given me plenty."
What the Gals had given Landin plenty of were elbows. When Landin finally grew tired, he chased A.J. de la Garza to the corner and whacked him silly with a succession of elbows.
"I had an ill-mannered reaction; I didn't have to react that way. Unfortunately I did, and that was the consequence," he said after the game.
The next minute, Buddle again scored to make it 2-0. Sean Franklin assisted on the goal with a low cross that somehow made it through a couple of Dynamo defenders into the waiting foot of Buddle.
Head coach Dominic Kinnear attributes the two goals allowed to the team's defense. "I thought the defending for both goals was really poor, they took advantage of it," Kinnear told Hair Balls. "Fair credit to them, they took advantage of our mistakes and won the game."
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Because of the red card, Landin will have an automatic suspension for at least the next game. With Brian Ching out for the next game and Landin suspended, the Orange will be running thin at forward. Also lost in Saturday's match was Richard Mulrooney, who left with a left knee injury.
In comes Lovel Palmer, who replaced Mulrooney. Palmer was one of the few bright spots in MLS during week 3.
"It's one of the few positives to come out of the game tonight, was him getting extended run of time, and I thought he looked pretty comfortable. The guy showed a lot of heart," Kinnear said.
The Dynamo and Galaxy fought till the bitter end. At the end of the day, it was the Gals who came out on top. The next game is next Saturday when they take on Chivas USA.