The Columbus Crew (6-1-2) lost their first game of the season 2-0 to the Los Angeles Galaxy (9-0-2) after dominating most of the game in front of a sold-out crowd at Crew Stadium Saturday night.
On the stat sheet it was all Columbus. The Crew outshot the Galaxy 21-3 and had the edge in corner kicks 15-0.
Even though his team was dominated on paper, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena only cared about one statistic.
“You don’t win a game if you don’t score a goal,” Arena said. “We came here to win and the only thing we worried about was to score.”
LA scored early and late. Michael Stephens put his team ahead in the 10th minute and Tristan Bowen closed the game in the 87th minute.
Crew coach Robert Warzycha was disappointed with the loss, but proud of his team’s performance.
“That was the worst game of the season because we lost,” Warzycha said. “Effort-wise? I can’t complain about the effort. Everybody is working hard. I think we have to be proud of the team. I am.”
Of the many opportunities, the best came in the 77th minute when Crew defender Andy Iro’s header hit off the right post.
“It’s just one of those games. I headed it clean, I headed it down it. It was a great ball in, but it just doesn’t go in,” Iro said. “What can you do but laugh it off?”
Despite the disappointment of losing the game, the feeling in the locker room was still optimistic.
“We’re playing better now,” Iro said. “If we play like that in every game no one is going to be able to stop us.”
The Crew welcomed back Robbie Rogers and Chad Marshall, who each missed the last three games trying to earn a spot on the U.S. World Cup roster.
The Galaxy were without top offensive players Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle. Both are with the U.S. team preparing for the World Cup.
Arena, knowing his roster was thin, was happy to take the victory any way he could.
“I’m taking the three points and I’m out of town real fast,” Arena said. “I’m not looking back.”
The Crew head to San Jose, Calif. on Wednesday to take on the Earthquakes. They then play the Colorado Rapids June 5 before the league takes a three-week break for the World Cup.