A perturbed Chris Albright sulked off the Home Depot Center field Saturday night when he was called to the bench by Galaxy Coach Sigi Schmid in favor of a substitute in the 88th minute of a tie game.
His frown would quickly turn upside down though.
“I was confused and [angry],” Albright said with a laugh. “That’s crunch time ... I gave [Schmid] some [grief] coming off the field and then 30 seconds later, I went over and shook his hand and said, ‘Great sub, coach.’ ”
That’s because his replacement, rookie forward Arturo Torres, had started what would lead to the Galaxy’s come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Dallas Burn in front of 23,263.
Torres began the sequence with a nifty pass to Cobi Jones, who returned the favor with a cross to the middle of the goalkeeper’s box. Torres’ header was on line but Burn goalkeeper D.J. Countess made a spectacular save, diving to his right and punching the ball out.
Alejandro Moreno, who had replaced Diego Serna in the 71st minute, was in the perfect spot to capitalize with the 90th-minute game-winner.
“The ball was sitting there pretty,” said Moreno, who has two goals this season. “I [thought about] tapping it in but I decided just to bang it in for good measure.”
Torres, who has played only 14 minutes in Major League Soccer play, was just as surprised as Albright when he was summoned by Schmid.
“Right now I’m just looking for any kind of play, two minutes, five minutes, 10 minutes, whatever it is, I just want to play,” he said. “I have fresh legs and a lot of energy.”
Still, it shouldn’t have come down to a last-minute goal with two late-game substitutes serving as catalysts.
Not with the Galaxy (7-7-8) playing with a man advantage from the 53rd minute on -- Dallas defender Tenywa Bonseu was sent off with a red card after a vicious tackle on Carlos Ruiz -- and Ruiz attempting a pair of penalty kicks.
Ruiz converted his first attempt, in the 49th minute, after being fouled in the box by former Galaxy defender Ezra Hendrickson on a breakaway from a long Jones pass.
It was Ruiz’s 13th goal, tying him with injured New England forward Taylor Twellman for the league lead.
Ruiz, though, got too cute on his 81st-minute penalty kick attempt, gambling that Countess would dive to either direction. Countess stayed put and Ruiz’s soft kick to the middle was easily caught. It was Ruiz’s first miss in eight attempts this season.
The Burn (4-14-4) had taken the lead in the 12th minute.
After referee Noel Kenny ruled Galaxy defender Ryan Suarez’s bicycle kick in the box to clear a ball as a dangerous play, setting up a Dallas free kick from about 15 yards out, Kenny seemed to swallow his whistle in the ensuing madness.
The Galaxy set up its defensive wall and while Kenny was admonishing Jones and Peter Vagenas to get back after they had jumped the gun, Dallas midfielder Oscar Pareja gently tapped the ball to his left, where Joselito Vaca set it for Brad Davis.
Kenny had yet to blow his whistle to re-start play.
Davis’ powerful left-footed kick eluded the Galaxy’s prone wall as well as startled goalkeeper Kevin Hartman for his fifth goal of the season.
An enraged Hartman ran to midfield to protest to Kenny, who would hear none of it and waved Hartman away.