Galaxy Lose, Break Cooper's Leg

The Los Angeles Galaxy continued their run of horrendous play with a 3-1 loss at FC Dallas on Saturday night.

The Galaxy gave up the opening goal on 25 minutes when Juan Carlos Toja scored with a miraculous left-footed shot while being a step off the end-line. It was Toja's third goal on the season and gave Dallas the early 1-0 edge.

But the Galaxy managed to equalize in the 41st minute. A series of nice passes in the offensive third of the field led to a shot by Cobi Jones. Cobi's shot beat keeper Dario Sala but defender Chris Gbandi cleared it off the line, only to have rookie forward Robbie Findley blast it into the back of the open net, making the game 1-1 going into halftime.

In the 51st minute, Kyle Martino found the much-maligned Nate Jaqua inside the box. Jaqua's header was on target - for a change - but Dario Sala made an impressive save to knock the ball over the crossbar. Jaqua was playing with a soft cast on his right hand, which he broke during last week's match with D.C. United.

Just three minutes later, the tide turned back in favor of FC Dallas. Dominic Oduro was taken down inside the box by rookie defender Ty Harden and was awarded a penalty kick. Oduro easily slotted the ball past Joe Cannon, who dove to the wrong side, to give Dallas the lead once more.

And that was all she wrote for the Galaxy. In the 73rd minute, the Galaxy defense struck again, this time losing defender Drew Moor on a set piece. Moor headed Dax McCarty's free kick home, making the final score 3-1 in favor of Dallas.

Kenny Cooper, who did not start this game, came on in the 68th minute only to be taken off the field after a hard tackle from Tyrone Marshall. Marshall was shown a straight red-card for the tackle, but Cooper stayed down for some time and was later diagnosed with a broken right tibia. He could miss two months - a huge blow to West-leading FC Dallas."I feared the worst when I heard a huge crack (on that play)," said Dallas coach Steve Morrow. "Kenny is a guy who fights through those things and I knew it was serious when he couldn't continue."

With the loss, L.A. sinks to 1-4-3 (6 points), still tied for last-place in the league with Real Salt Lake. They will next meet their cellar-dwelling companions on Sunday at the Home Depot Center.

FC Dallas continues to roll at 6-5-1 (19 points), opening up a four-point lead of Colorado in the Western Conference. They will also play Real Salt Lake in their next league match, to be televised on ESPN2 on Thursday night from Utah.

Galaxy Player Rankings:
Cannon 4
Harden 3
Marshall 3
Veris 4
Sturgis 4
Vagenas 5
C. Jones 6
Martino 5
Jaqua 5
Quaranta 4
Findley 6

Randolph 5
Kirk 4

TJ's Take:
Besides taking another loss and falling further off the pace in the West, the Galaxy will be without Tyrone Marshall for at least the next match - if he isn't suspended beyond that. The team is already short-handed on defenders, with Chris Albright and Ian Russell out with injuries, Ante Jazic and Kevin Harmes away with the Canadian national team and Nathan Sturgis about to be called up for the U-20 World Cup, it will have to be a makeshift back line for the G's for the next several weeks. Abel Xavier is eligible to play in next Sunday's game against Real Salt Lake, one bright spot on the defensive front.

With Cobi Jones and Santino Quaranta both being needed to go for 80-90 minutes in each game, the offense can really stall out in the 2nd half. Until everyone returns from the Gold Cup and a few players return from injuries, this team is going to continue losing points and falling further out of contention.

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