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GALAXY REPORT

Tennyson Makes Most of Moment

October 04, 2002|PAUL GUTIERREZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

It took all of 31 seconds for McKinley Tennyson to make an impact on the Galaxy.

It took less time for the Galaxy to dub him with a new nickname--the Minute Man--after the rookie forward scored the last goal of the Galaxy's series-clinching 5-2 victory over Kansas City on Wednesday night less than a minute after entering the game.

"I think Gavin Glinton's very happy about that because he wanted to give up that name," Galaxy Coach Sigi Schmid said of another forward who has a rapid-fire goal this year.

It was in the third minute of second-half injury time when Tennyson, who joined the Galaxy as a developmental player Aug. 12, made his Major League Soccer debut by replacing Carlos Ruiz.

After the Galaxy punted a ball away, Kansas City defender Carey Talley attempted to pass it back to Wizard goalkeeper Tony Meola. An onrushing Tennyson stole the ball, though, and was forced to his right by Nick Garcia. But Tennyson's quick shot went through Garcia's legs and to the left post, eluding Meola.

"It's good to get a goal and do it in your first game," said Tennyson, who played at UCLA and had 18 goals with the A-League's Portland Timbers this season. "It's been long-awaited and there's been a lot of hard work put in there, faith and trust in coaches. To start out like that is great.

"It establishes confidence and I'm here to help where I can. I've scored goals before and I look at myself as a goal scorer and when I get my chance I just want to keep working hard and do what I can to help the Galaxy."

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Having picked up yellow cards in consecutive games, Ruiz is in danger of having to sit out Wednesday's Game 2 against Colorado if he gets another one in the series opener Saturday night at 7 in the Rose Bowl.

Schmid has already warned Ruiz, the Guatemalan striker who is leading the MLS playoff scoring race with 10 points on four goals and two assists.

"His English is very, very good," Schmid said with a smile. "I was going 'Uno, dos, tres,' and he goes, 'I know, three yellows.' Yeah, three yellows, you don't want to get it, so he's aware."

Said Ruiz: "Coach has already warned me about it but I don't expect to get another yellow card. I won't change my style because I have to stay aggressive."

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It's official: A potential Game 3 of the Galaxy's semifinal series with Colorado will be played Oct. 12 at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium at 7 p.m. The Rose Bowl is booked that day with a UCLA-Oregon football game.

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