Carson, CA – The LA Galaxy maintained their unbeaten home record for the season with a 1-0 win over their city rivals Chivas USA on Sunday night. Galaxy striker Chad Barrett netted the fixture’s solitary goal in the 53rd minute after his strike partner Adam Cristman made a break down the right flank and crossed in a ball that Barrett connected to with a header, slotting it in between Chivas keeper Dan Kennedy and the near post to make it 1-0 Galaxy.
“I flicked the ball over to Adam,” said Barrett. “He did a great job to be able to put a cross in and he just put it right on my head and you know you can’t miss from there, so all the credit goes to him on the assist, I’m just there for the tap-in.”
While Barrett’s goal would prove decisive, he could have scored more and was unlucky not to have had at least a hat trick.
“Yeah, you can call it unlucky the one I took around Kenny, I probably could have slid it past him,” said Barrett. “I think every single time I just got a little closer to the ball crossing the line.”
The Galaxy striker’s most notable chances to add to his tally came in the 18th minute, when the ball was crossed in on a set piece and he executed a bicycle kick that was deflected away by Kennedy, and in the 39th when he received the ball from Todd Dunivant on the edge of the six and flicked on with a header that went off the post.
Galaxy midfielder David Beckham also felt Barrett could have netted several more times on the night.
“It could definitely have been a hat trick, probably more,” said Beckham. “But one will do. He’ll take one, we’ll take one and it’s three points.”
With a crowd of 27,000, the match was the Galaxy’s sixth sellout of the season and represented veteran Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter‘s final regular season appearance as a professional player. The 38 year old Berhalter has decided to call time on an impressive career that has seen him playing stints with Sparta Rotterdam in Holland, 1860 Munich in Germany and Crystal Palace in England among others. The Galaxy defender also played a significant role in the USA’s 2002 World Cup campaign.
Berhalter, whose been serving as a player coach this season explained his decision, saying, “I didn’t want to go and retire because I was forced to retire or something like that. I felt like I wanted to go out on my own terms.”
David Beckham praised Berhalter’s contribution to the team during his time with the Galaxy.
“It’s been an honor to be in the same team as Gregg,” said the former England midfielder. “He’s such a great professional and such a great leader and he’s that person that when the team are not playing as well as we should be, he’s the one that’s giving us information and giving us all a kick up the backside and it’s great to have a professional like that in the team.”
With the Galaxy having already qualified for the playoffs and Chivas having no hope of doing so, there was nothing to play for but bragging rights. Perhaps this is why neither side seemed as all in as in past incarnations of the Super Classico.
Chivas, who share the stadium with the Galaxy, were considered the away team on the night and created precious little in the way of chances. Their best opportunity to equalize came in the 83rd minute Laurent Courtois got hold of a loose ball and let off an on-target shot that forced Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders to make one of his few saves of the match.
With the Galaxy’s regular home season now wrapped up the team will now journey to Honduras to face Club Motagua in the CONCOCAF Champions League on Thursday. From there the Galaxy will head to Houston to close out their regular MLS season against the Dynamo on Sunday the 23rd.