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Galaxy unable to score without its stars

Rapids' Buddle scores in 75th minute, and L.A. drops to third.

September 07, 2013|By Jim Peltz

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Just when the Galaxy found itself on a roll, four of its best players were absent when the club played host to conference rival Colorado on Saturday night.

And it showed.

With the Galaxy unable to score, a goal by Rapids forward Edson Buddle — a former Galaxy player — was enough to give Colorado a 1-0 victory over the Galaxy in front of 20,801 at StubHub Center.

Buddle's score came in the 75th minute when he kicked a line drive from 23 yards directly in front of the net, the ball sailing past Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe as he dived to his right.

The loss snapped the Galaxy's streak of three consecutive wins and dropped the Galaxy to third place in Major League Soccer's Western Conference with 43 points, five points behind first-place Real Salt Lake.

Colorado is now tied with Portland for fourth place with 42 points.

“We just didn't play well tonight, not well enough to win,” said Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena.

With seven games left in the regular season, the Galaxy — the MLS champion the last two years — is trying to finish the regular season among the top five in the standings to again qualify for the MLS playoffs.

Galaxy forwards Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, along with defender Omar Gonzalez and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, all were away on international duty for World Cup-qualifying matches.

The four are expected to rejoin the Galaxy when the team plays D.C. United in Washington on Sept. 14.

But for the game against Colorado, the Galaxy had to rely on young substitutes up front.

Forwards Jose Villarreal, who turns 20 Tuesday, and 18-year-old Jack McBean of Newport Beach replaced Keane and Donovan for the start of the game against Colorado.

They couldn't score, and the rest of the Galaxy couldn't convert several attempts, including:

In the 34th minute, midfielder Marcelo Sarvas fired from the right side of the six-yard box, but the ball hit the crossbar and stayed out of the goal.

In the 60th minute, defender Todd Dunivant took a deflected ball and shot from six yards out but chipped the ball over the goal.

In the 68th minute, midfielder Gyasi Zardes headed a shot from in front of the net that flew over the goal as well.

Donovan, Keane and Gonzalez combined for 16 of the 17 goals that the Galaxy scored in all competitions in August, both MLS matches and non-MLS tournaments.

The exception: Villarreal's goal against Real Madrid in the Guinness International Champions Cup game Aug. 1.

And the last time one of the Galaxy's nondesignated players made a goal in MLS play was July 20, when Zardes scored against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

james.peltz@latimes.com Twitter: @PeltzLATimes

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