All in all, draws on the road in MLS are never a terrible result. But the way Bruce Arena’s LA Galaxy came by its draw Saturday at lowly D.C. United cannot please anyone around the two-time defending MLS champs.
Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane had cut up the United defense to stake an early lead. But Galaxy DP defender Omar Gonzalez, among the threesome of Galaxy Designated Players performing once again in a busy week of soccer, blundered near goal, giving the ball away to Chris Pontius, who walked in for the first-half equalizer.
Michael Stephens had put the Galaxy back on top with an 81st minute goal, and it seemed like the three points were there to be had for Arena’s team, which is still chasing that Supporters Shield hopes and optimum playoff positioning.
It was young Stephens’ second career goal, and United goalkeeper Bill Hamid bears significant responsibility on this one. Hamid didn’t appear to expect Stephens to shoot, so the Galaxy’s man ability to point an effort goalward with little wind-up left Hamid scrambling awkwardly and unable to reach the ball at the far post.
But just minutes later, Gonzalez’s central partner along the Galaxy back line Leonardo allowed United Kyle Porter (pictured) to remain onside as the rest of the L.A. defenders pulled forward. Porter’s well-placed header beat Jaime Penedo to the far post and gave the home team the draw.