Consider Arena officially upset
Team holds on for tie in rainy, windy opener
CARSON, Calif. — Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena was pleased with how his team performed, but displeased by referee Hilario Grajeda’s call to disallow a goal in the first half of a 1-1 tie with the Revolution last night.
“We could have scored a bunch of goals,’’ Arena said. “We fell short there, but overall the passing of the ball, creating chances, defending was good. Certainly, we are not happy with a point. This is a game we should win.’’
Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis dropped a cross, but Grajeda called a foul on Mike Magee as the Galaxy appeared to tie the score in the 16th minute.
“You can’t reward the goalkeeper for dropping the ball,’’ Arena said. “I don’t understand that one.’’
Lekic on board The Revolution’s search for a proven goal scorer is close to being complete.
Danish striker Rajko Lekic, 29, currently with Silkeborg IF, will join the team for training this week, according to vice president of player personnel Michael Burns.
“He’s one of the players we tried to sign and thought we had done,’’ coach Steve Nicol said before last night’s game. “We’re going back with him and we’re talking again.’’
Lekic, listed at 6 feet 2 inches and 175 pounds, converted a penalty kick for Silkeborg in a 1-1 tie with Odense Saturday in a Superligaen match. Lekic, who also has Montenegrin citizenship, performed twice as a substitute for Denmark’s national team last year.
He has 110 goals in 229 professional matches, performing for three Danish clubs, plus Xerex in Spain, and Zalaegerszegi in Hungary.
In the 2006-07 UEFA Cup, Lekic scored two times in six matches for Odense.
Tough assignment The Revolution had inside knowledge on how to defend the Galaxy’s David Beckham from assistant coach Steve Myles.
“You either close him down as soon as he gets the ball and don’t let him get his head up, or if he’s on the ball and he’s picking people out, you make sure you’re picking people up,’’ said Myles, who was director of Beckham’s Los Angeles-based youth academy.
“Obviously, he’s not as quick as he was when he was younger, he relies a lot on his long-range passing, which is absolutely phenomenal. If you [defend him] right, he can end up back in the fullback position.
“But the thing about that is he can still hurt you. You think you’re all right and all of a sudden he’s hitting a 60-yard crossfield ball and you’re 1-0 down. When he’s on the ball you’ve got to concentrate, you’ve got to concentrate for the 90 minutes.’’
Beckham did drop into a right fullback position last night, often allowing Sean Franklin to overlap from the back in the second half.
Better safe Nicol said injured veterans Ousmane Dabo (calf) and Didier Domi (knee) campaigned to make the trip. Dabo, who was injured in his first full-scale training session with the team, and Domi could return for Saturday’s home opener against D.C. United. “We basically had to tell them they weren’t playing,’’ Nicol said. “For the big picture, it’s better they stayed there.’’ . . . Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi, who entered last night’s game as substitutes, are slated to perform for Gambia against Equatorial Guinea in an Olympic qualifier in Banjul March 28. Nyassi said he is reluctant to make the trip because he contracted malaria while preparing for a Gambia game in Burkina Faso last year. “A doctor told me my blood count is down, so I could be taking a chance of getting malaria again,’’ Nyassi said. Mansally replaced Marko Perovic (left hamstring) in the 22d minute, playing on the left wing in a 4-5-1 alignment and taking the team’s set-piece kicks. Mansally moved to forward as Nyassi went in on the left wing after replacing Zack Schilawski in the 75th minute.