Despite defeat, Steven Gerrard's competitive LA Galaxy debut goes down well

Steven Gerrard Euro 2012 England

The Liverpool legend played the second-half of the Galaxy's 1-0 US Open Cup defeat at Real Salt Lake on Tuesday night.

The LA Galaxy may have seen their US Open Cup campaign ended on Tuesday night by a 1-0 defeat at Real Salt Lake, but substitute Steven Gerrard had reason to be pleased with his individual performance.

Brought on at half-time for his competitive debut, the former Liverpool captain saw time in both a No. 10 role behind Robbie Keane and in central midfielder alongside Brazilian stalwart Juninho and showed clear signs of his Premier League class.

In his second appearance for the MLS Cup holders after last weekend’s 2-1 International Champions Cup win over Club America, the big-name signing made a number of driving runs and forced a fine 54th-minute save from RSL goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, before seeing a powerful shot sail just over the bar with 14 minutes remaining.

A late Aaron Maund goal would see the visitors knocked out at the competition’s quarter-final stage in the end but, having got some more valuable minutes under his belt ahead of Friday’s league debut against the San Jose Earthquakes, the 35-year-old veteran was reasonably upbeat at the final whistle.

Speaking to the Galaxy’s official website, Gerrard said: "I walk away disappointed with the result. I move away with another 45 minutes out the locker room, so that will get me towards full fitness.

“But I'm walking away with a cheeky smile, because I'm very happy with my feeling in the game I'm very confident moving forward.

"It's been a whirlwind change over the last week or two," Gerrard continued. "I'm two weeks into a brand new challenge and a very big change and I'm still searching for 100 percent fitness, but I can feel it coming.

“I'd be very frustrated and disappointed if I wasn't getting chances while the chances are there. I know and have full belief in myself that those chances will sooner rather than later go in the back of the net."

Club captain Keane added on his former Liverpool teammate’s performance: “All these minutes add up for him. I think he’s played at altitude maybe once in the World Cup but he’ll certainly benefit from that.

“I thought that we certainly more comfortable at times especially than in the first half. Stevie got a lot of space. … I thought it was good.”

The initial signs are positive then but, with his MLS bow coming up, fans will be expecting to see a fully-fit Gerrard firing on all cylinders before long, as the Galaxy continue their bid for a fourth title in five seasons.

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