Jack McBean's header in the 83rd minute gave the Galaxy the advantage. (Bob Levey / Getty Images )
It was only the second Major League Soccer game of the season for the Galaxy and the team managed a 1-1 tie with intracity rival Chivas USA on Sunday.
But judging by the postgame reaction of the Galaxy, the reigning MLS champion, it might as well have been a loss.
"Feels like a loss," Galaxy forward Robbie Keane said after the draw at the Home Depot Center, the stadium the two teams share. "Probably one of our worst performances for a long time."
The Galaxy appeared to have the game won when 18-year-old forward Jack McBean of Newport Beach scored in the 83rd minute with a header that deflected off the hand of goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
But a resilient Chivas USA kept attacking, and with only one minute left in the 90 minutes of regulation, Chivas USA rookie and East Los Angeles native Carlos Alvarez scored to give his team the tie.
"Never give up on this team," said Alvarez, a 22-year-old midfielder. "We're always going to play 90 minutes or more."
The tie was all the more frustrating for the Galaxy because Chivas USA's Joaquin Velazquez drew a red card for fouling in the 40th minute, meaning Chivas USA played more than half the game with 10 players, one fewer than the Galaxy.
This was the first of three regular-season games between the teams in a series known as the "SuperClasico." Chivas USA's overall MLS record improved to 1-1-1 and the Galaxy is 1-0-1.
Chivas USA overhauled its roster in the off-season and appointed a new coach, Jose Luis Sanchez Sola. As a result, the Galaxy wasn't sure what type of opponent it would face Sunday.
What the Galaxy discovered was a physical and aggressive Chivas USA squad that repeatedly frustrated the Galaxy's attempt to find an offensive rhythm.
"Certainly give them credit, they played really hard," Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena said.
"They fouled us as much as they could and got away with as much as they could, but that's all part of the game; that's not surprising," Arena said. "There's no excuses on our part."
Keane agreed, saying "rather than focus on Chivas, I think we should focus on ourselves and clearly we didn't play well today. Everyone was frustrated."
Arena was particularly annoyed the Galaxy had the lead with only a few minutes remaining, only to see it slip away.
"Terrible effort in closing the game out," he said.
In the 64th minute, Arena appeared to have played a winning hand when he sent McBean into the game to replace Jose Villarreal.
That changed with Alvarez, who played four years at the University of Connecticut and was selected the Big East Conference's midfielder of the year in 2012. Then, in January, he went to Chivas USA after being chosen second overall in the MLS draft.
"It feels great being from L.A. and giving back to the people, to the community, and being fortunate to play in this game," Alvarez said. "It's a dream come true."