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Galaxy Tightens Defense During Crunch Time
MLSnet.com, September 21st, 2009 4:15PM

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The Los Angeles Galaxy posted a stellar defensive performance in a 2-0 win over Toronto FC a week after conceding six goals to FC Dallas. "The response from our players after last week was fabulous," said L.A. coach Bruce Arena. "The effort by our guys, the concentration, the defending that needed to be done was excellent. This is one of those games where, for 90 minutes, we looked like a team, as opposed to last week, where there were very few minutes in that entire match where we looked like a team."

Making his second start for the club, midfielder Chris Birchall provided defensive cover in the midfield that allowed Galaxy star David Beckham to push forward. Beckham took advantage of his opportunities to attack, scoring the Galaxy's first goal and forcing a turnover deep in Toronto's half that turned into a close-range finish from Edson Buddle. "Tonight, I was happy with my goal and I was happy with the assist I gave to Landon [Donovan] and Eddie, but I think it was the overall team performance that was exceptional tonight," Beckham said.

Los Angeles also got a strong performance from right back Sean Franklin, who made his first appearance since suffering a ligament tear in May. "I'm absolutely surprised Sean was able to go 90 minutes," said Arena. "He worked his tail off these past four months and got himself into the kind of physical condition you saw tonight, which is remarkable. He played a very intelligent game tonight." Franklin's return gives the Galaxy more defensive options, as the 2008 Rookie of the Year should battle with rookie A.J. DeLaGarza for a starting role at the back for the remainder of the season.

 

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