for this game

Chivas, Galaxy battle to scoreless tie

Apr 12, 2009 - 6:41 AM
CARSON, California (AP) -- Donovan Ricketts finally got a chance to pay back his new coach's confidence in him.

Ricketts registered a shutout in his MLS debut with Los Angeles and the Galaxy salvaged a 0-0 tie with Chivas USA on Saturday night.

Ricketts, who played for Jamaica in the 1998 World Cup and spent four seasons in England, finished with five saves for the still-winless Galaxy (0-1-2).

"When he gets into form, I think he can be an outstanding goalkeeper," Los Angeles coach Bruce Arena said of Ricketts, who strained his right groin during preseason training and missed the first two games.

Among Ricketts' saves were a leaping one-handed deflection of Paulo Nagamura's 16-yard shot in the 18th minute and a diving stop of Sacha Kljestan's 19-yard shot in second-half stoppage time.

"Bruce put a lot of faith in me, so every game I just try to repay him," Ricketts said. "That's all I do. I go out and play from the heart."

Ricketts, who played for Bradford City in England's League Two from 2005-08, credited a slower U.S. pace to his success.

"In the English leagues, the play is more quick," he said. "The ball never stops moving. (MLS) is more technical and methodical in the buildup. It's relatively slower than the English leagues, but not that slow."

Goalkeeper Zach Thornton made four saves in earning his second shutout of the season for Chivas (3-0-1).

Thornton blocked Landon Donovan's point-blank shot with his feet in the 21st minute, then reached over his shoulders to pull the ball in before it crossed the end line.

"I'm a little disappointed that we didn't take the three points," Chivas coach Preki said. "We pushed forward. We were brave. We were going for the win."

Chivas' Carey Talley and the Galaxy's Tony Sanneh also cleared shots away from open nets. Talley deflected Donovan's 16-yard attempt in the 74th minute and Sanneh cleared Alecko Eskandarian's 14-yard shot in the 83rd.

Despite the lack of scoring, there was plenty of action. Referee Tim Weyland issued eight yellow cards and ejected three players, two from the Galaxy.

"It was very awkward," Arena said. "It was too much of, 'I gave one (card) to them so I'm going to give one back to even things.' You knew it was going to happen. It was very obvious from the beginning of the first half."

Chivas played with a 10-to-9 advantage in the final 11 minutes. Nagamura received a red card in the 45th minute, followed by the Galaxy's Alan Gordon in the 71st and Gregg Berhalter in the 79th.

Berhalter, making his first appearance in the U.S. following a 15-year career in Europe, became the seventh player in MLS history to be ejected in his debut.