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Donovan shines as Galaxy romps
by Ridge Mahoney, August 28th, 2014 2:03AM
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[MLS: Week 25] Outplayed from the opening kickoff, D.C. United crumbled under a constant onslaught and fell to the surging LA Galaxy., 4-1. A strong game by Landon Donovan and opportunistic finishing gave the Galaxy its third win in a row.

The Galaxy scored early, late, and in the middle of the first half to take command over an under-strength United lineup. The G-men, Alan Gordon and Omar Gonzalez, scored within the first 25 minutes and Baggio Husidic notched a third goal in first-half stoppage time. Donovan closed out the scoring by converting a penalty kick with 15 minutes left to play.

All five goals were scored by Galaxy players, as United’s only goal came when Leonardo put the ball into his own net as he and Eddie Johnson lunged for a diagonal ball. Otherwise, this rivalry match quickly turned into a rout. Only a few excellent saves by Bill Hamid kept the final score somewhat respectable. Chris Rolfe had missed training Tuesday and wasn’t listed on United’s game-day roster; Fabian Espindola, Davy Arnaud and Nick DeLeon were on the bench at kickoff. Robbie Keane didn’t dress for the Galaxy, which despite playing its fourth game in the last 12 days overran D.C. from the opening kickoff.

United started nervously, and the Galaxy pounced when an errant ball out of the back from Bobby Boswell went right to Donovan. His pass to Gordon was relayed to Marcelo Sarvas, and the double-team that dispossessed Sarvas sent to the ball back to Gordon, who didn’t miss a wide-open net. Elapsed time from the kickoff: 67 seconds. Gordon has scored two goals in four games since being traded back to the Galaxy by San Jose two weeks ago.

United labored under nearly constant pressure and it fell behind, 2-0, when Gonzalez got his foot to a Donovan corner kick to sting a volley underneath keeper Bill Hamid in the 25th minute. Donovan earned his second assist when Husidic, one of the contributors to a mesmerizing buildup that deserves Goal of the Week consideration, touched home a centering pass from A.J. DeLa Garza, who had been played into space on the right flank by Donovan.

Jared Jeffrey, Espindola, and De Leon entered the match in the second half, but all United could produce offensively was Leonardo’s own goal and its night turned miserable when referee Kevin Stott ruled defender Steve Birnbaum had fouled Gonzalez as they dueled for a corner kick. Donovan tucked the penalty kick away for his seventh goal of the season. Head coach Bruce Arena replaced him a few minutes later and he walked off to a warm ovation.

The Galaxy’s third straight win improved its record to 12-5-7 and moved it into second place in the Western Conference, two points behind Seattle. The Galaxy plays its derby game Sunday night against Chivas USA a few hours after Eastern leader D.C. United (13-8-4) hosts the Red Bulls.

League play resumes Friday when Houston plays at defending champion Sporting Kansas City.

MLS WEEK 25, Results:
Wednesday, August 27
LA Galaxy 4 D.C. United 1.
LA: Alan Gordon 2.
LA: Omar Gonzalez (Landon Donovan) 24.
LA: Baggio Husidic (A.J. DeLa Garza, Landon Donovan) 45+1.
DC: own goal 58.
LA: Landon Donovan pen. 75.
Att.: 16,044.

MLS WEEK 25: Schedule:
Friday, August 29

8 p.m. ET
Sporting KC vs. Houston, NBCSN
Saturday, August 30
4 p.m. ET
Seattle vs. Colorado
5 p.m. ET
Toronto FC vs. New England
7:30 p.m. ET
Montreal vs. Columbus
8:30 p.m. ET
Chicago vs. FC Dallas
10:30 p.m. ET
San Jose vs. Real Salt Lake
Vancouver vs. Portland
Sunday, August 31
2:30 p.m. ET
D.C. United vs. New York, NBCSN
8 p.m. ET
Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy, UDN

MLS Standings:
EASTERN CONFERENCE

PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA

43 D.C. United 13-8-4 40/30
42 Sporting KC
12-7-6 36/26
33 Toronto FC 9-8-6 35/36
33 Columbus
8-8-9 35/32
31 New York 7-7-10 39/36
---------------------------------------
30 New England 9-12-3 31/36
30 Philadelphia 7-9-9 40/41
26 Chicago 4-6-14 31/37
25 Houston 7-13-4 25/45
17 Montreal 4-15-5 25/45

WESTERN CONFERENCE
PTS TEAM W-L-T GF/GA
45 Seattle 14-7-3 43/33
42 FC Dallas 12-7-6 45/33
42 Real Salt Lake
11-5-9 39/30
43 LA Galaxy 12-5-7 45/27
33 Vancouver 7-5-12 33/31
-----------------------------------------
30 Colorado 8-11-6 37/39
30 Portland 7-8-10 41/43
25 San Jose 6-10-7 28/32
24 Chivas USA 6-12-6 21/37
------------------------------------------------
MLS: Leading Scorers
G PLAYER, TEAM
20 Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York
16 Dom Dwyer, Sporting KC
14 Erick Torres, Chivas USA
13 Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy
11 Jermain Defoe, Toronto FC
11 Sebastien Le Toux, Philadelphia
11 Joao Plata, Real Salt Lake
10 Clint Dempsey, Seattle
10 Obafemi Martins, Seattle
10 Gyasi Zardes, LA Galaxy
10 Chris Wondolowski, San Jose



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