Galaxy top Islanders 4-0 in CONCACAF Champions
CARSON, Calif. (AP) -- Tommy Meyer scored on a header in the 7th minute and Jose Villarreal added a goal in the opening seconds of the second half to start the Los Angeles Galaxy toward a 4-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory Wednesday night over the visiting Puerto Rico Islanders.
Jack McBean and Michael Stephens added late goals two minutes apart as the Galaxy (2-0-0) won for the second straight week in the region's club championship. Los Angeles has a three-point lead in Group 5 on El Salvador's Isidro Metapan (1-1-0).
Villarreal, just 18, tumbled as he scored and was forced to leave the game with a knock on the back of his head. He and Meyer were among five rookies in L.A.'s lineup as head coach Bruce Arena was without suspended forward Robbie Keane and injured captain Landon Donovan, and left David Beckham on the bench.
"(These guys) have played well in reserve games and they train every day against a pretty good group of players," Arena said. "We see it in training, we know what they're capable of and the kind of qualities some of our players have. So we're not surprised by the performance.
"(Not) completely surprised. If you asked me before the game if we expected to win, 4-0, I would certainly have said no, but when you've got players with confidence, the early goal was important for their confidence, and I think they played extremely well for 90 minutes."
Puerto Rico (0-2-0) will be home against the Galaxy on Sept. 19.
The winner of the three-team group advances to next year's quarterfinals in the regional club championship.
Meyer, making just his second competitive appearance for the Galaxy since early May, rose above Puerto Rico's Osei Telesford to powerfully nod home Kenney Walker's corner kick.
The Galaxy's dominance didn't lead to many legitimate scoring chances despite inspired work by Hector Jimenez, the only regular starter in the Galaxy's lineup, on the right flank.
Los Angeles doubled its advantage in the first minute of the second half. Jimenez sent a long ball from deep in Galaxy territory and McBean, just 17, headed it farther on from midfield. Villarreal, who has been a spark off the bench since debuting last month, took the pass in stride, eluded Puerto Rico goalkeeper Richard Martin at the top of the box, and avoided two defenders to roll the ball in from 18 yards.
McBean scored in the 80th minute after his first-time shot from Stephens' cross was blocked by Richard Martinez, and Stephens added the fourth in the 82nd when a defender redirected a pass to him in Puerto Rico's box.
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