Villarreal’s stunner the lone bright spot as Galaxy fall to Real Madrid

JoseVillarrealGoal (Getty)


In his second season in Major League Soccer, Los Angeles Galaxy forward Jose Villarreal is clearly finding his comfort zone.

The U.S. youth international has already earned nine starts this season for the Galaxy and was a bonafide starter for the U.S. Under-20 side at the World Cup last month. His growth and maturation as a professional was on full display in the Galaxy’s 3-1 friendly defeat to Real Madrid on Tuesday.

Villarreal, collecting a clearance at the top of the box in the 63rd minute, skillfully evaded two Real Madrid defenders before launching a left-footed strike past opposing goalkeeper Diego Lopez to make the score 2-1.

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema (two goals) and midfielder Angel Di Maria (one goal) provided the scoring on the night for the Spanish club.

Here are the highlights of the match (Villarreal’s goal begins at :39):

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31 Responses to Villarreal’s stunner the lone bright spot as Galaxy fall to Real Madrid

  1. Steve says:

    Hmmmm…..goalkeeping on that last goal…..ouch.

    • OPMG says:

      I’m no goalkeeping expert, but I saw that too. Looked like it would have been an easy stop if the keep was in the proper position.

      • alf says:

        If the GK comes out for a cross and doen’t get it 90% percent of the time he can just strool back to the net pick it up.

    • Chupacabra says:

      If you were in the goal for that shot you would have kept it out . . . by turning into an exploding m@ss of brown matter.

    • Yogi says:

      Yeah, the keeper had a howler on that last one. Looks like he wanted to punch it out but that cross kept hanging and…. hung him out to dry. Otherwise, he was pretty solid in the next.

    • beachbum says:

      it’s a mistake, he misjudged the ball, came out when he couldn’t get there. the Galaxy owned the air and set pieces in renditions with Ricketts and Saunders along with Gonzo and co. but not this year

  2. bottlcaps says:

    Missing Gonzo, Donovan and Keane, the outcome of the game was all but certain. Still, it was a good showcase for the young talent of the Galaxy.

    Remember, without the same missing players, the Galaxy lost against Colorado last weekend by two goals. They did one better against RM with Villarreal scoring. The Galaxy played them close for most of the game, but you had the feeling that RM would put it’s foot on the accelerator had they the need to score more goals.

    • dan says:

      id say they did pretty well. the class difference was massive and LA held their own well, in fact i’d say they held their own much better than the All Stars did against Roma (embarrassing). pretty cool since over 3/4 of the team were rookies

      • Patrick says:

        ” pretty cool since over 3/4 of the team were rookies” I think the key is that it is a group of young players that play and train together all the time …under Bruce Arena. The All Star team would have done better if they had, say a week and a half to prepare together…not like what ? Two days?

    • Jeff Fulton says:

      The young Galaxy players looks pretty good. With Gonzo, Donovan and Keane, the scoreline might have been different, but they actually played pretty well and the goal was magnificent. This is why our All-Star game should be the first team starters for the top of the table team (plus 10 all-star subs integrated wisely) v. the likes of Roma, etc. Even the Galaxy reserves were fluid passing and in possession if not a little (quite) lacking in the defensive 3rd.

    • SoCalMike says:

      I too have the impression Real was playing in cruise control but the Galaxy youngsters accounted for themselves remarkably well against a top-3 club in the world. There were stretches where the Galaxy controlled the pace of play and possession, they created a number of scoring chances they just didn’t capitalize on.

      There’s a lot of young talent in LA, oodles of it. Considering LAG was missing their 3-top starters they played RM well, IMO their best showing out of the 5 games they’ve played.

  3. Brian says:

    Villarreal’s stunner was the long goal for the Galaxy but hardly the lone bright spot in a game they were most likely going to lose. For a team missing it’s three biggest stars, I thought the team moved the ball well and with pace at times and created a few other chances. Of course, RM is in their preseason and could have stepped up their game if required but all-in-all not a bad outing for a team with several teenagers and multiple players who are 2 years or less removed from the college classrooms.

  4. House says:

    Get real, even with Gonzo Donovan and Keane the Galaxy has no chance of beating Real Madrid.
    You seem to forget Monterrey beat them pretty easily just a few months ago . Home and away.

    • Justin Roelant says:

      It is tiresome for me to hear those “get real” real type of comments…Real Madrid is certainly a better side, but I seem to remember everyone saying the same thing about the US and Spain, “get real, the US has no chance of beating Spain in the confed cup.” Any given day, thats all I’m saying.

      • DCLee says:

        Agreed Justin. Get tired of the we are better comments the Euro teams fans. when they lose it the “Well we didn’t care or put out our best team out or we’re tired from a long season”. And when they win you get the comments from House above “Get real…”

        As a DC fan I watched United run all over AC Milan in 2010 and beat them 3-2. It was 3-0 in the 70th minute until Brandon Barklage tore his ACL forcing United to play a man down the last 20 and holding on by a goal. Is AC Milan the better side historically, financially, etc… Yes but not that night at RFK.

    • kev2 says:

      lol sure. Manuted lost to a crappy KS Wizard team.

    • soccerhorn says:

      Real Madrid’s starters beat the Galaxy reserve team 3-1? If anything, I’d call that a weak performance by RM.

  5. IvanRG says:

    The future is bright for JV.

  6. Francois says:

    Villareal’s technical ability and finishing make him a very promising player. However, he lacks in tactical understanding, and passing. If he can improve those two aspects of his game, plus his hold up play, he will become one of the best players we have ever produced. I have no doubt about that.

  7. bryan says:

    great run and finish.

  8. Francois says:

    Villareal’s technical ability and finishing make him a very promising player. However, he lacks in tactical understanding, and p@ssing. If he can improve those two aspects of his game, plus his hold up play, he will become one of the best players we have ever produced. I have no doubt about that.
    Edit due to moderation.

    • Lorenzo says:

      Wow. Seriously Francois? This just in….HE IS NINETEEN years old. The kid will be a legend. Baby steps please.

  9. TomG says:

    Beautiful bit of skill by Villareal, from the deft first touch to the exquisite technique on that left footed blast. This kid looks so ordinary in some matches then pulls stuff like this that makes him look like a future superstar.

    • Excellency says:

      Not sure he gets away with that dribbling in league play but the motion on the ball fooled the keeper. Good strike.

  10. AlexH says:

    The gap between the two teams was never more evident than when the teams made their last substitutions. LA put in two guys nobody ever heard of and Real put in the midfield paring that started for Germany at the Euros. That said, the Galaxy fought hard and certainly gave a better account of themselves than the MLS all-stars that lost by the same score to Roma.

    • AlexH says:

      One more thing. Wouldn’t it have been better for MLS had Landon in Gonzo played for LA last night rather than for the all-stars on Wednesday. MLS has the depth to replace what they bring to the table but the Galaxy does not.

      • soccerhorn says:

        MLS didn’t make out that lineup last night. Bruce Arena did. He’s hardly concerned with how his players do at the all-star game, other than praying they don’t get hurt. Don’t forget, Galaxy is the headliner Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. And I’d much rather see the Galaxy “Big 3″ in the starting 11 there, on Fox, than in Phoenix, on Fox Soccer.

        • Matt Jackowski says:

          uh, that game is on Fox Soccer too. only the early game is on Fox.

        • SoCalMike says:

          Don’t know if the Galaxy are the headliners as much as RM playing earlier means the game isn’t on in the middle of the night in Spain, and the game is on Fox Soccer.

          I totally agree that Bruce isn’t really concerned at all about these games outside of liking the fact LAG players will gain experience versus world class players and top level teams, also hoping no one gets hurt or some players step up like Villareal did vs RM.

    • What me worry? says:

      My daughter said the same thing to me and it is comical really. No disrespect to the players but wow, that is a deep squad that RM has purchased (Galaxy’s next subs would have been fans wearing game jerseys I guess while RM would have substituted more internationals) Did seem at times that CR7 was playing with Franklin and the other defenders but he missed his chances so too bad. The pass from Isco to Benzama and his touch forward and strike for goal were things of true beauty.

  11. Chris says:

    that pass from Isco was just ridiculous! beautiful ball to set up Benzema