MLS Playoffs: Youngster Boateng takes charge for Galaxy

Emmanuel Boateng made up for a penalty whistled on him that negated the LA Galaxy's early lead with two golazos to lead it to a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake in their Knockout Game on Wednesday.

Boateng was starting because Gyasi Zardes is still out as he recovers from a broken foot and Sebastian Lletget was moved back into central midfield because Steven Gerrard remains sidelined after suffering a hamstring injury.

Alan Gordon, starting his first playoff game after a league-record 15 appearances as a replacement for Robbie Keane, who was held out of the starting lineup, put the Galaxy, finishing off a nice combination with Robbie Rogers, Landon Donovan (with his MLS record 15th playoff assist) and Giovani dos Santos.

Boateng made up for the penalty called for his foul on Javier Morales that led to the tying goal put the Galaxy ahead with the first of two goals on a mazey run through the RSL backline. On his second goal, Boateng beat left back Demar Phillips and scored to the far post past the diving Nick Rimando.

"He really didn’t foul the player on the penalty kick, which was unfortunate," said Galaxy coach Bruce Arena. "I think it got him a little angry, but I think he made up for it for sure. We’ve been looking for him to break out a little bit and he did today. He had a great game.”

Boateng was born and raised in Ghana and finished high school at Cate School in California as part of the Right to Dream program. He spent one season at UC Santa Barbara before moving to Sweden's Helsingborg, where he spent three seasons.

Boateng's two goals matched his total in 26 regular-season games for the Galaxy.

“He’s a young player, 21 years old," added Arena. "You have your ups and downs during the season, but he’s got such a great attitude, a very likable and personable guy. He’s competed throughout the season. He’s a good professional. We think obviously over time, he’s going to become a real good player."

Boateng, who said the game ranked up with the best of his career, credited his teammates for their help.

"I think guys have trusted me a little bit more and given me the confidence to take the defense on and make the game simple for me," he said. "Everyone is trying to help me with my runs and hearing a little bit from everybody."

Oct. 26 in Carson, Calif.
LA Galaxy 3 Real Salt Lake 1.
Alan Gordon (Giovani dos Santos, Landon Donovan) 14
RSL: Joao Plata pen. 21
LA: Emmanuel Boateng (Alan Gordon) 26
LA: Emmanuel Boateng (Alan Gordon) 34
LA Galaxy -- Rowe; Rogers, Van Damme, Steres, Cole; Husidic, Lletget; Boateng (Magee 76), dos Santos, Donovan (Larentowicz 87); Gordon (Keane 52).
Real Salt Lake -- Rimando; Wingert (Allen 74), Glad, Schuler, Phillips; Beckerman, Sunny; Martinez (Movsisyan 58), Morales (Mulholland 69), Plata; Garcia.
Yellow Cards: LA Galaxy -- Husidic 62; Real Salt Lake -- Phillips 39, Wingert 41, Sunny 71.
Att.: 18,124.

1 comment about "MLS Playoffs: Youngster Boateng takes charge for Galaxy".
  1. beautiful game, October 27, 2016 at 11:12 a.m.

    Solid performance by Galaxy...the referee was shameful, totally inconsistent by carding only two of half dozen professional fouls.

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