CARSON, CA (BDCi TV) – – The Los Angeles Galaxy “out-United” their competition from Washington D.C. 4-1 Wednesday night in front of 16,044 at the Stub Hub Center.
In what could only be labeled an emotional, total team effort, and without their star scorer and passer Robbie Keane, Los Angeles posted 3 goals in the first half alone and were stingy on defense to overpower D.C. United and jump into second place in the MLS West, only 2 points from leader Seattle.
The beers were still full and cold in the stands when the Galaxy scored their first goal. At 67 seconds, newly acquired striker Alan Gordon and Keane’s replacement, drove down with Marcelo Sarvas who somehow got the ball to Gordon who finished easily on keeper Bill Hamid for DC. The play though was started by the ever-active Landon Donovan who took over the play making usually reserved for Keane.
At 25 minutes, Donovan’s corner kick found the right foot of Omar Gonzalez who volleyed it in to make it 2-0 Los Angeles.
Then just before the first half ended, in stoppage time, a beautiful exchange between Landon Donovan, AJ DeLaGarza and Baggio Husidic concluded with a tap-in goal by Husidic who was replacing a resting Stefan Ishizaki.
A clean sheet though was not in the cards. In the 58th minute a DC United through ball appeared to confuse Galaxy defender Leonardo and goalkeeper Penedo and found the inside of the net. The scorers gave the own goal determination and assigned it to Leonardo, although really fault could have been with Penedo as well.
For good measure, Los Angeles added another goal in the 75th minute courtesy of a penalty kick converted by Landon Donovan, his 7th goal of the season. The penalty was committed by DC United defender Steve Birnbaum who low-bridged Los Angeles defender Gonzalez who was in the box on a corner kick.
The Galaxy have had several motivational factors to manage in past weeks most prominent the announcement of Landon Donovan’s retirement from professional soccer. But perhaps no other situation has been more inspirational than that facing their teammate AJ DeLaGarza whose unborn child has been diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that will require several corrective surgeries after he, “Luca” is born. The birth is set to take place Thursday morning, and players like his back line friend Omar Gonzalez were more than willing to show support to their struggling teammate with a win and a wearing of a shirt in Luca’s honor.
“I was surprised the goal went in. I just went to AJ and lifted my shirt to show my heart. Tomorrow’s a very big day for him (AJ)…happy to get the win for him tonight so he can focus on what he needs to focus on tomorrow.”
Both Bruce Arena and Landon Donovan complimented the Brazilians on the team, calling their play key to the success of the stingy defense.
The Galaxy next face last place Chivas in the Super Clasico Sunday at the Stub Hub Center.