[MLS SPOTLIGHT]The defending MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy carried an eight-game winless streak through the June break and sat in last place in the Western Conference. But wins over the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake have pushed the Galaxy up two notches and only two points out of the top five. The win at RSL was nothing short of improbable. Down 2-0 after 24 minutes, the Galaxy got two goals and an assist from Landon Donovan to win, 3-2.
Down 2-0 after goals by Kyle Beckerman and Alvaro Saborio, both set up by Fabian Espindola, the Galaxy got a break in the 29th minute when Donovan ran onto a weak back pass by Tony Beltran and rounded Nick Rimando to cut the RSL lead to 2-1.
Another defensive mistake, this time by Jamison Olave, allowed Donovan to set up a streaking Mike Magee on the left side, in alone on Rimando to make it 2-2 five minutes after the break.
Finally, Donovan won the game in the 68th minute when he took a ball from Magee out of the air and past an onrushing Rimando in one smooth motion.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena called Donovan's performance "fabulous."
"That’s the kind of player that Landon is," said Arena. "He is certainly capable of doing that. You know there were some great balls on some counterattacks; obviously the first goal was a mistake by Beltran and he had a great pass on Magee’s goal for the second goal and Magee gave him a great pass to push Landon behind for the third goal. It was a great performance by Landon and by the whole team. We hung in there, we were a little unlucky to be behind 2-0 and that had all the makings of a disaster. To get that goal before halftime was big.”
The Galaxy can make it three in a row when it hosts Vancouver on Wednesday.
“We are starting to move up the ladder a little bit," Arena said. "Three games ago, we were sitting in a difficult position and now we’ve got six points in two games and we want to get another three on Saturday and that would put us in a decent position as we try to improve in the second half of the season. This week would indicate that things are moving in the right direction.”